Be Aware of the Grammar of Sign Languages. Resources for Teachers and Pupils. (BAG-Sign)

About the project

Research Topic and Roadmap

Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS) has been recognized as an independent language since 2005 in §8 par 3 of the Austrian Federal Constitution. Thus, Austria is one of the currently about 70 countries in the world that grant rights to their national sign languages. For a long time, the central and most important demand of the self-advocacy of the ÖGS community has been that the education system for deaf children must be accessible, inclusive and bilingual with ÖGS and German (see also the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Articles 2, 9, 21, 24, 30).

However, since the recognition of ÖGS as an independent language 17 years ago, no laws/measures regarding language law have followed in Austria. The sign language minority, especially deaf sign language users, suffer from massive discrimination: ÖGS is not a subject in schools, ÖGS courses for parents of deaf children are not paid, there is a lack of interpreters, etc. Throughout Europe, as well as in Austria, there is also a lack of materials for sign language teaching.

Focus Areas

The goal of the BAG-Sign project is to enable deaf, hard of hearing and hearing pupils to acquire knowledge of the grammatical structures of their national sign language. Thus, their meta-linguistic awareness is to be strengthened. BAG-Sign therefore transforms linguistic findings into a pedagogical grammar for sign languages and qualifies teachers for grammar teaching. This improves the quality of sign language teaching, which contributes to the formation of an inclusive society.

BAG-Sign is situated in the field of inclusive education with the highest relevance for the linguistic rights of pupils with hearing disabilities and their teachers.


In BAG-Sign, science and school practice in Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland cooperate to create a demand-oriented pedagogical grammar for five European sign languages. In addition, in BAG-Sign we develop classroom training and multilingual web-based tutorials for self-study for teachers. The results are scientifically tested, evaluated, revised and then made freely accessible to the public on a website.

Project Data