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May 19, 2004

Sign language developed for Tibetan deaf

From: Washington Times - Washington,DC,USA - May 19, 2004

Tibet, , May. 19 (UPI) -- China announced Wednesday it has developed a sign language for the deaf and mute in Tibet -- a country it occupied more than 50 years ago.

Officials said it is the first sign language system for a minority in China, which has 55 ethnic groups whose combined population account for about six percent of the national total, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua said the Tibetan system is different from that used nationally, since Tibetans can neither read nor write Chinese characters.

The sign language system was created by a deaf club made up of Tibetans, with the aid of international organizations for the disabled, the report said.

Club members will be sent to various parts of Tibet to introduce the new sign language.

Copyright 2004 United Press International