A common and naïve belief of many is that all sign languages of the world are the same, however, sign languages are in fact vary greatly across the world. In the United Kingdom there are two languages spoken that are legally recognized as official languages: British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL), which is used in by the deaf living in Northern Ireland (“What is ISL,” n.d.). In the United States of America, American Sign Language is the official recognized sign language. Both languages are similar because they are visual languages and have their own distinct grammar and structure, however they also feature many differences. For example, the American Sign Language alphabet is signed on only one hand, while British Sign Language uses both hands (“Fingerspelling Alphabet,” n.d.). British Sign language also has many dialects found in various regions of the UK, for example in a BSL dialect found in Scotland that might not be easily understood by BSL signers in southern England (“British Sign Language,” …show more content…
In England, the Elementary Education (Deaf and Blind Children) Act was passed in 1893, which completely accepted the recommendation of the Milan Congress, thus leading to an era of total Oralism in British Deaf schools (“History of BSL,” n.d.). Many schools in the United States also followed the recommendations of the Milan Congress and accepted the oralist approach, closing many of the Deaf residential schools and oppressing the Deaf community. In both England and the United States civil rights organizations were established around this time in order to help advocate and help support and preserve the use of sign language. In America the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 in order to preserve help ASL during this dark and very audist time for Deaf culture. Similarly in England the British Association of the Deaf and Dumb was founded in 1890, and then later deleted the word “Dumb” from its title in 1971.