The Maltese deaf community will today be holding a silent protest in solidarity with their Italian friends whose government is refusing to recognise sign language as an official language.

The protest, organised by the Malta Deaf People Association, will be held outside the Italian Embassy in Floriana at 5 p.m.

The deaf Italian community has long been seeking official recognition of their sign language as this would have a bearing on important issues, such as the state funding of interpreters.

However, the Italian government proposed changing the words “Italian sign language” to “language of mime and gestures” in the law. This has been deemed offensive by the international deaf community.

The Bill is currently making its way through the Italian Parliament and has one more stage to go.

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