Skip to main content

Mexico: Mexican Sign Language (LSM) to be Used in All Official Communication

March 17, 2020

Considering that the lack of information accessible to the deaf community puts life and the right to information at risk during this humanitarian emergency of COVID19, this Tuesday, March 17, the Thirteenth District Court on administrative matters in Mexico City it issued a provisional order that forces the authorities to take measures to inform the entire population immediately.

The amparo, presented by the deaf activist Erick Arellano on his own behalf and of the Coalition of deaf people of Mexico City (CoPeSor) now, forces the President, the holders of Health, the General Health Council, the Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum and her Health Minister, as well as the head of the General Directorate for Media Analysis and Visual Content of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFETEL) to immediately use Mexican Sign Language (LSM) in every official communication they issue.

They must also inform, within 24 hours, which health centers or hospitals in the Mexican State have a communication support service in LSM. If not, they will be fined up to 100 times the unit of measure and update in Mexico City.

The legal bases and what follows

Cecilia Guillén, the lawyer, activist for disability and person with disabilities who presented the appeal only on Monday, a non-working day due to the importance of the subject, explains that this is based on various rights embodied in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disability and also the general guidelines of accessibility to telecommunications services for users with disabilities, published in 2018 and that are here , same that the authority is not applying.

As the amparos can take a long time, what the 13th court did was to issue this provisional order for the omissions of the authority, a special measure to protect the human rights of deaf people to information and health, but the amparo will continue to process .

"What made me sit down to work running is not only the outrage at the lack of accessible communication, but the genuine concern of deaf people who do not have the minimum information to take care of themselves and their families and therefore also the community .

“We claim that we were in danger of deprivation of life of a very large community and not only of the complaining person, Erick, as part of the CoPeSor. Remembering that the court had in its hands the life of the deaf community and also, this implies the effectiveness of all the measures they are taking thinking of deaf and hearing people ”.

Now it is a provisional order, then it will be the final one. Guillén trusts that the final judgment will also make clear the obligation of all authorities, all governments, and IFETEL to monitor accessibility specifications at all times. ”

The official document that requires this, you can read it here


-For a long time, the deaf community complains that the box with an interpreter in LSM is too small to understand well. It must be expanded.

-Other communication measures should be implemented, in addition to 800 004 800, to obtain information about health through text (for people who do not speak) and, ideally, also a video relay center for LSM signatories, such as Colombia has made.

-Printed health information should also include other accessible formats, such as easy reading for people with intellectual disabilities (which is useful for all people and deaf people not literate) and braille.

-In addition to a memory with an interpreter in LSM, the messages must be subtitled for people with hearing disabilities who are older or who are not speakers of LSM.

Source: Yo Tambien