Sign language is now officially practised in almost every country, but diverse heritages and different cultures independently developed specific signs to designate common objects or identical situations. A Universal Sign Language is gradually being developed, mainly to designate objects and situations related to contemporary technology or events. Nevertheless, there will always be differences between signs in each country that need to be noted, as countries have developed its own signs through time.
As part of this proposal, the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Astronomy for Sign Languages has been translated into English and Spanish. This list currently includes 47 words most commonly used in education. Many astronomical words have no equivalent hand sign in any sign language. The signs presented in this list represent a collaboration between deaf communities, educators, and astronomers all over the world. The suggested signs are meant to engage the deaf community in scientific discussion.
Read the IAU Press Release