lcj-16Dany Adone

LCJ: Special Edition: Indigneous Sign Languages, 16, pp. 2-5

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Adone, D. (2015). Introduction. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Indigenous Sign Languages], 16, 2-5. DOI:



This issue of the Learning Communities Journal emerged from a workshop on Indigenous sign languages research, the first of its kind held at the Charles Darwin University in July 2013.  The workshop focused on a variety of issues related to sign languages, within and outside of Australia. The contributions outside of Australia deal with the Indigenous sign languages of Thailand, Ban Khor, and Indonesia, Desa Kolok. These two Indigenous sign languages give us some insight into communities in the region and are especially interesting when keeping in mind the longstanding contact between these countries and Australia.

This workshop was designed to raise awareness of the general public on the existence of Indigenous sign languages and as such, aimed at establishing a first dialogue between sign languages scholars, community members, educators, sign language interpreters, policy makers, and the public. Too often people have overlooked the signs used by Aboriginal people in the street, misinterpreted these signs as some arbitrary gestures, or even simply ignored the existence of these Indigenous sign languages. Further, there has recently been a spate of publications concerned with the documentation of sign languages in different parts of the world, as well as a growing interest in various types of sign languages within the field of Sign Linguistics. This workshop can be regarded as a contribution to this development in the field. 


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