Sociolinguistic Profiles of the Deaf Communities in Trinidad, St. Vincent, and Grenada

Statement of Responsibility:
Parks, Elizabeth and Jason Parks

This report presents the findings from a brief sociolinguistic survey conducted in June 2008 covering deaf communities in Trinidad, St. Vincent, and Grenada. While Grenada and St. Vincent both report roughly 150–200 signing deaf members of their communities, Trinidad’s community is much larger but it is unknown how many people make up its deaf cultural community. Research findings show that deaf communities in each location are at varying degrees of development. The St. Vincent deaf community appears to be decreasing in number and the community is not actively pursuing development or organization. In comparison, the deaf communities in Grenada and Trinidad appear to be growing in number and becoming increasingly organized in their advocacy for deaf rights, the formation of deaf clubs and associations, the promotion of sign language, and the push for increased educational and employment opportunities. Deaf people in Grenada, St. Vincent, and Trinidad all use ASL and/or SEE in many domains of life. Trinidad, alone, has a developed indigenous sign language, Trinidad and Tobago Sign Language (TTSL), and many Trinidadian deaf people are motivated to see TTSL developed and increase in prestige and use in community life.

25 pages
Language surveys
Trinidad and Tobago
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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