Friends of the Earth (Malta) is currently coordinating a 3 year ERASMUS+ Project with 5 partners from Malta, Spain, Italy and UK bringing together associations of the deaf and nature organisations with the support of an interactive content sharing online platform.
In Europe there are an estimated 70 million citizens with some form of hearing impairment, but specific materials for the identification of plants is lacking in sign language. Il-Lingwa Tas-Sinjali Maltija or Maltese Sign Language (LSM) is the language of the Maltese Deaf Community and has been an official language of Malta since 2016.
The aim of the Project is to improve the inclusion of the Deaf community in accessing nature, augment knowledge about flora and design inclusive public spaces through 5 innovative actions. These will include the enhancement of five national sign languages by creating a “sign” for plants which are found in the four countries, creating videos to learn the new “signs” and short sign language documentaries, a manual of best architectural practices for inclusion and accessibility in public spaces and the adaptation of the material into online interactive content for dissemination.