The Association of the Deaf's 2012 Sign Language Award acknowledges an organisation or individual’s contribution towards the advancement of the rights and status of sign language as a language of Finland.
According to the Association, the National Opera is being given the nod for its ground-breaking sign language interpretations of Purge, Carmen and Rigoletto. A sign-friendly performance of Robin Hood is also on the drawing board for this operatic season.
The Award will be presented to the National Opera’s artistic director, Mikko Franck, this afternoon as part of national Sign Language Day celebrations at Valkea talo in Haaga, Helsinki. The event will also celebrate the release of a revised and extended version of the online Finnish sign language dictionary, Suvi, the first version of which came online ten years ago.
February 12 was chosen as Finland’s National Sign Language Day to honour the birthday of Finland’s father of the language, C.O. Malm.
According to the Association for the Deaf, there are around 14,000 sign language users in Finland.