Dr. Elena Radutsky, Coordinator of the Deafness Program

Italian Sign Language and How it has Changed over Time

When: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 8:00pm
Where: Scheuer Room

Open to the Public
ASL Interpreters provided

Elena Radutzky is the Coordinator of the Deafness Program, a cooperative venture between the Italian Fulbright Commission, Gallaudet University, and the Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, an organization located in Rome that provides professional training and produces teaching materials for deaf and deaf-blind children. The Deafness Program annually brings one Deaf Italian student to Gallaudet for internship experience related to deafness. Radutzky was the president of the Mason Perkins Deafness Fund from its start in 1985 through to 2010, and in this role, she wrote the Dizionario bilingue elementare della Lingua dei Segni Italiana LIS, the first and still the most comprehensive dictionary of Italian Sign Language. Her work for the language rights of Deaf Italians is notable and she is the major reason why Italian Sign Language is still legally recognized as a natural human language in Italy after a challenge to it as being purely "gestural" in 2010. Her recent work has been on the morpho-phonological changes in Italian Sign Language over the past two hundred years, and that is what she will talk about tonight.