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Basic information of the country/area
Name of the country/area Nepal
Formal name of the country/area Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Country/area information The World Factbook (CIA)
Wikipedia (English)


Indigenous signs for "Nepal"

Illustrations in the literature

"Nepal" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 17.)

Spoken languages


Sign languages

Nepalese Sign Language

Jhankot Sign Language

Jumla Sign Language

Related sign languages:

American Sign Language

Population of Deaf/deaf people

  • The population of the signers of Nepalese Sign Language: 5,743, Most are monolingual. (2001 census :Ethnologue web edition)

Legal status of sign languages

  • Status of the National Sign Language(s) from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below)

1. The country’s government does not formally recognise the country’s sign language(s).

2. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s).

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

(WFD member; established in 1995. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the Deaf

EENET - Deafness and the Development of Communication Skills in Developing Countries Examples from Mongolia and Nepal

Sherpa, Ang Kaji. 1999/4. "Parents of Deaf Children." WFD News 12(1): 1999. 4-5

  • Access to Education from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The government recognizes that Deaf children and Deaf students have the right to receive an education.

2.Legislation or policies on Deaf Education:

Special Education Policy 1997

3.The government provides those educational settings for Deaf children and Deaf students:

Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)
Secondary (From 12/13 years old to 17/18 years old)

4.The government provides bilingual education using the country’s sign language(s) for Deaf children and Deaf students in those educational settings:


5.Total number of schools specifically for Deaf children and Deaf students in the country, and the educational approach for communicating with Deaf children and students at the Deaf School:

19 Deaf schools (11 are run by Deaf Associations, and 8 by NGOs or Government).
other: All Deaf schools use sign language at all class levels, but the students’ skill in the written language is roughly at the grade 5 level.

6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:

Government does not provide interpreters for students in University. The education level upon finishing high school is not sufficient to easily enter University. Only rarely have Deaf people entered university and only at the BA level.

Sign language interpretation

  • There is an association of sign language interpreters in Nepal. from WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011 (See Bibliography below).
  • Status of Sign Language Interpreting Services from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The number of sign language interpreters in the country:

There are approx 20 Nepal Sign Language interpreters; most of them work under NFDH's member organisations. Another 30 people are teachers in Deaf Schools who interpret as well.

2. Sign language interpreting qualifications.


3.The way Deaf people access sign language interpreters:

Deaf people have to go to the NFDH or district member organisations and request interpreters themselves.

4.The provider of the sign language interpreting services: : National Association of the Deaf

5.The area of life sign language interpreting services are available:

Social Services
Health/Medical Services
Court Services
Educational Services
Counselling Services
Financial Institutions
Others: We provide interpreters for workshops, seminars and meetings for Deaf and hearing people that need them.

6.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:

Sign language interpreters receive payment for interpreting services
National Association of the Deaf/Deaf Group pays
Others: The national Association and member organisations that employ the interpreters pay a little allowance. Sometimes, seminar/workshop organisers pay it.

7.The average hourly rate of payment for sign language interpreters:

No such thing as an hourly rate but occasionally, Interpreters get 350 – 500 NPR (3.80€ - 5.40€ on 31st January 2008) per day depending on their monthly salaries.

8.Sign language interpreters sometimes provide voluntary service for sign language interpreting assignments.

9.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:

Independent from the National Association of the Deaf.

10.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:


11.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :


  • Data on sign language interpretation in this country collected in 2006 by a similar questionnaire research by WASLI are in the WASLI Newsletter 2007 issue six (See Bibliography below).

1. The sign language in the country :

Nepali Sign Language

2. Spoken languages:

Nepali, but there are 80 ethnic minority languages also.

3. This country has some Interpreter training programmes.

Deaf communities and cultures

Religious activities by the Deaf

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Sign language dictionaries

Nepal Association of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing ed. 1997. Nepali Sign Language Dictionary (Book three)

Nepal Association of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing ed. 1996. Nepali Sign Language Dictionary (Book one)

1995. Nepali sign language dictionary. Kathmandu: Nepal National Federation of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Devkota, Nirmal Kumar, Patricia Ross and Dhruba Man Maskey. 1989. Nepali Sign Language Dictionary. Kathmandu: The Welfare Society for the Hearing Impaired, School for the Deaf


WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific (WFD RSA/P). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People. World Federation of the Deaf. Finland.

WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters ). 2007. WASLI Newsletter 2007 Issue 6 Kampala, Uganda.

Nakayama, Sinichiro. 2004. Make a Comparison of Word Order between Sign Language and Language for writing : From study about sign language used in Asia and Africa. In: Sign Language Communication Studies (Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 52(2004.06):22-26. [Including information of [ Ghana, Zambia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand ]

Dyssegaard, Birgit. 2000. Emerging educational programs for deaf students in Mongolia and Nepal: A special report. In: Patricia E. Spencer, Carol J. Erting and Marc Marschark eds. The Deaf Child in the Family and at School: Essays in Honor of Kathryn P. Meadow-Orlans. 239-254

Maskey, Lion Sita Ram and Jaljala Shishu Sadan. 1999. The lives of the deaf in Nepal. In: H. William Brelje ed. Global Perspectives on the Education of the Deaf. Hillsboro, Oregon: Butte. 243-247

Kobayashi, Masayuki. 1999. Deaf in Asia(5) :Nepal. In: Sign Language Communication Studies. (Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 34(1999.12) :66-71.

Beecken, Anne. 1997. Unterstützung Gehörloser und Schwerhöriger in Nepal - ein dänisch-nepalesisches Projekt. In: Das Zeichen 11/40:196-199

Taylor, Irene. 1997. Buddhas in Disguise. Deaf People of Nepal. San Diego, California: Dawn Sign Press

Nepal Association of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing ed. 1996. Final Report of the 3 day seminar on “Nepali Sign Language in the Deaf Communication”

Ozolins, Brigitta. 1996. Deaf women in Nepal. In: XII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. Vienna, Austria, 6-15 July, 1995. Proceedings. Toward Human Rights. 738-740

Joshi, Ragav Bir. 1994. Nepal: A Paradise of the Deaf? In: Carol J. Erting, Robert C. Johnson, Dorothy L. Smith and Bruce D. Snider eds. The Deaf Way: Perspectives from the International Conference on Deaf Culture. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 69-74.

Woodward, James. 1993. The relationship of sign language varieties in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. In: Sign language studies. no.78:15-22.

Joshi, Ragav Bir. 1991. Nepal: a paradise of the deaf? In: Sign Language Studies 20/71:161-168


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