Sign Language on Stamps – Croatia 2021.

About 100th Anniversary Of The Croatian Association Of The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing

This year, the Croatian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HSGN) is celebrating 100 years of organized existence. It was historically founded at the beginning of the 20th century when the first students graduated from the Zagreb School for the Deaf, which was opened in 1885 by the deaf teacher Adalbert Lampe. Exactly 100 years ago, in 1921, the first association for the Deaf called Dobrotvor was registered, and its first president was the deaf painter, Ivan Smole. The association existed under this name until 1945. After the war, in 1945, a new organization called the Association of the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Persons of Croatia (SOOSH) was founded, and its purpose was a social activity with stage performances and intense sports activity. The first deaf president of SOOSH was Josip Komerički. In 1948, SOOSH also founded the company DES (acronym for Defektni sluhom/hearing impaired people) and initiated professional rehabilitation, education and training of deaf children and youth and Slava Raškaj School for the Deaf was founded in 1949. In cooperation with the World Federation of the Deaf and the Association of the Hearing Impaired of Yugoslavia, the 2nd World Congress of the Deaf was held in Zagreb in 1955, with more than 2,000 deaf participants from all over the world.

Today, HSGN is a national organization that brings together 23 core member associations with more than 13 000 people with hearing impairments. HSGN is a member of the World Federation of the Deaf, the European Union of the Deaf, the International Federation of Hard of Hearing and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing and the European Union of Young Deaf. HSGN is a member of the Croatian Union of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (SOIH).

HSGN cooperates with the relevant ministries and other bodies of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in a number of projects and programs of national interest and is an active participant in all legislative and political initiatives and actions for the benefit of persons with disabilities. It is also a member of the Government Commission for Persons with Disabilities. HSGN is also active in the study of Croatian Sign Language, by preparing literature and dictionaries, organizing seminars and courses in Croatian Sign Language and the culture of the Deaf. It is also proud of the fact that the Croatian Parliament passed the Croatian Sign Language Act and other communication systems for deaf and deafblind people in the Republic of Croatia in 2015, as well as the fact that Croatian Sign Language is included in the List of Preventively Protected Goods as an intangible cultural asset. Croatian Sign Language is a real language with its grammar, syntax and very rich fund of signs. As an aid in communication, in addition to Croatian Sign Language, two-handed and one-handed alphabets are used, which is usually used to spell personal names, names of institutions, foreign words or terms for which there are no signs. The two-handed alphabet is the real Croatian alphabet, while the one-handed alphabet is taken from and adapted from American Sign Language.

Over the last 100 years, many deaf experts (including lawyers, professors, scientists, artists, etc.) have participated in the work of HSNG, and have shown by their example that Deaf people can do anything except hear.

Croatia issued a 3.30 HRK Stamp on 26 Aug 2021 to mark the Centenary of the Croatian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HSGN)