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March 22, 2003

Deaf group to rescue Geordie sign language

From: Telegraph, UK - 22 Mar 2003

By Paul Stokes
(Filed: 22/03/2003)

A group for the deaf has been given £25,000 to preserve the Geordie accent in sign language.

As with the spoken word, distinctive dialects have evolved in the visual form of communication. Experts estimate that up to 30 per cent of sign "words" have regional variations.

The group named On the Way, based in north Tyneside, has been awarded the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make a detailed record of the signs.

Members will spend the next two years interviewing people to create a contemporary sign dictionary.

Paula Appleby, youth and community development officer for North Tyneside Disability Forum, said: "The history of signing is fascinating and it is easy to see how our changing lives can result in aspects being forgotten."

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2003.