Republic of Tunisia

  • Total Population

    11 million

  • Deaf Population


  • Nation's Official Language


  • Tunisia

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 9.  Some of these are:

    • English
    • Ghadames
    • Maltese
    • Sened
    • Shilha
  • Name of Sign Language

    Tunisian Sign Language

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    There are apparently 70 schools for the deaf in Tunisia. Some are oral and other use a form of sign language or Total Communication. In a study of the Tunisian system of deaf education (Stroscio, 2013) describes a range of practices in schools.

  • Sign Language Overview

    Loans are reported from Langue des Signes Française (LSF) and Lingua Italiana dei Segni (LIS) but the languages are not mutually intelligible. There is no information available about variation in Tunisian Sign Language. There are no grammatical descriptions available. Sign Writing is used to some extent in Tunisia and materials using sign writing have been produced. There is a research centre International Research Institute of the Tunisian Sign Language (ICHARA).

    Tunisian Sign language is assessed to be developing by Ethnologue according to the Bickford et al. (2014) categories in that it is not losing users.

    In Cap Bon in the north of Tunisia there is a high incidence of deafness (Ben Arab et al. 2004), so that it is possible that there is village sign language there.

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    • Voice of the Deaf Association of Tunisia (AVST)
    • Tunisian Association for Assistance to the Deaf

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    The WFD (2008) report found that there were 60 trained interpreters. The training could be for two or four years. Interpreters are provided by the national deaf association. 

  • Resources

    Stroscio, Maria (2013) Deaf Education in Tunisia. Thesis, University of Venice.  

    Ben Arab, S. - Masmoudi, S. - Beltaief, N. S. - Hachicha, H. A. (2004) Consanguinity and endogamy in Northern Tunisia and its impact on non-syndromic deafness. Genet Epidemiol. 2004 Jul; 27(1):74-9.  

    World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. (2008). Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Arab Region (WFD RSAR). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People  

  • List of Contributors

Tunisian Flag
Africa Map - Tunisia
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