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April 4, 2004

Changes in sign language for deaf

From: NZ City - New Zealand - Apr 4, 2004

Deaf people are the latest to be dragged into the world of political correctness.

Sign language has been forced to evolve with the times to introduce what are described as some more appropriate signs to describe various ethnic groups.

In days gone by the deaf would refer to Chinese people, for example, by slanting their eyes, or a Fijian by making the gesture of an Afro hairdo.

They even used to refer to women by making breast shapes with their hands.

Deaf Association chief executive Jennifer Brain says those signs are being phased out after deaf members of the ethnic communities pushed for change.

She believes evolving the language to be more culturally sensitive is a positive step, but warns there are still some rude signs out there.

© 2004 NZCity, IRN