Nora Fernandez Fernandez
On November 17 and 18, more than 700 people gathered at the CNLSE 2022 Congress, the National Congress of Spanish Sign Language. The event was made up of various presentations led by experts and round tables, which addressed topics such as education, translation and interpretation, and the relationship between language and culture.
The Congress, organized by the LSE Center for Linguistic Normalization in collaboration with the Rey Juan Carlos University, was held in a hybrid mode from the URJC Madrid Campus. The broadcast was made from YouTube Channel of the Spanish Sign Language Standardization Center (CNLSE) and all communications are available on the platform so that they are accessible at any time.
As is customary in previous editions of the CNLSE Congress, this event has wanted to be a meeting point for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and reflections on issues related to Spanish sign language.
As explained by Mónica Rodríguez Varela, a member of the Center for the Standardization of Spanish Sign Language, "specifically, the Congress has focused on explaining research in which sign language and/or its use are the object of study, as well as experiences that orbit around sign language”.
When asked about the past editions of the Congress, he acknowledges that “the impressions are always very positive. Each new edition of the congress receives more interventions, more signed communications, etc. In this latest edition we have even opened the possibility of poster sessions to accommodate more studies. We have always been aware of the need for a meeting, but in this edition the desire has exceeded all expectations”, comments Rodríguez.
The main theme of this year's Congress was linguistic and cultural rights, that is, human rights related to the use of languages and the presence of sign language in all areas of life. “This I think is the main novelty. The signing community itself, research, education... is showing that not being able to use sign language like any other oral language is an anomaly, discrimination, a violation of rights. This conference aims to bring us up to date on this issue and promote new studies and actions aimed at the normalization of sign language. Isn't it normal to be able to communicate at school or at the health center in your language?” Rodríguez points out.
The work of sensitization and awareness of the reality of deaf people is a difficult task. The barrier of ignorance is the strongest of all and the celebration of this congress helps, as Rodríguez comments, "to publicize and disseminate everything related to part of our linguistic and cultural heritage related to the sign languages of the environment ”.