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On the International Mother Language Day, February 21, 2020, The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN organized a round-table discussion entitled “Language of people with deafblindness” at the City Hall in Ljubljana in order to connect recognized experts in the fields of linguistics, deafblindness and the rights of persons with disabilities to speak publicly, for the first time, about the tactile language of the people with deafblindness, based on touch, and the importance of legalizing the right of the deafblind to use it.

The mother language is the foundation of an individual’s identity, which is why The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN has been raising public awareness for many years about a group of people with deafblindness who do not identify with Slovene as their mother tongue, but with various adapted methods of communication based on touch. At this point, the interlocutors discussed the question of what defines the language of the deafblind and how to start exercising the right of people with deafblindness to use it in all layers of social life from birth.

The round-table discussion speakers were dr. Simona Gerenčer Pegan, secretary of The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN and interpreter for people with deafblindness; Boštjan Dragan, a person with deafblindness, a member of  The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN and an online vlogger; asst. dr. Vera Grebenc, researcher and professor at the Faculty of social work; dr. Marjetka Kulovec, sign language teacher at the Institute for the deaf and hard of hearing Ljubljana and expert in the field of sign language interpretation; mag. Petra Rezar, legal representative of The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN and a teacher at the Institute for the deaf and hard of hearing Ljubljana; professor dr. Marko Stabej, Slovenian linguist and lecturer at the Department of slovene studies at the Faculty of philosophy, University of Ljubljana, and Marko Jenšterle, head of the Slovenian language department at the Ministry of Culture.

Dr. Stabej highlighted, among other things, a social problem in terms of unnecessary fears and ignorance, forcing many to stay on the sidelines, though it would not be necessary: ​​”Lastly is belief that language becomes a language when it has grammar and a dictionary.” He added that the language is standardized so that people communicate with it: “The language of the deafblind is a special language that we need to spread together.”


The participants reached the following conclusions:

– at the people with deafblindness we speak about the language of the deafblind,

– language is fundamental to the equal inclusion of people with deafblindness in society,

– the right to an interpreter for people with deafblindness needs to be regulated,

– support for the deafblind family is also important in the educational process.


The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN would like to sincerely thank the City of Ljubljana for their long-standing support and all the interlocutors, media representatives and guests who attended and participated in the event.