Today, STUDIOTRE would like to discuss a type of interpreter that is very important for Italian society: interpreters of LIS (Italian Sign Language), which is used for and by people with hearing impairments by making use of vision/gestures.
Sign language is not universal: every deaf community has its own language based on the culture in which it was developed.
Unfortunately, in Italy Sign Language is not yet legally recognised and its esteemed interpreters, a silent army which gives a voice even to those without one, are not considered professionals, unlike in the rest of Europe.
Indeed, LIS (Italian Sign Language) interpreting has not yet been legally recognised as a profession in Italy, the only European country that does not recognise LIS as a language for all intents and purposes.
The most unusual aspect of all of this is that STUDIOTRE’s interpreters who are fluent in LIS are true professionals for whom interpreting is a real profession and not simply a volunteer activity.
One interesting fact regarding these Sign Language interpreters? A survey conducted by Anios, the Italian sign language interpreters association, showed that this is a female-dominated profession: sign language interpreters are almost always women (87.75%).