Ukrainian Sign Language


A language of Ukraine

Alternate Names
USL, Ukrayinska Mova Zhestiv, Ukrayinska Zhestova Mova

54,000 (2008 WFD). Other population figures refer to audiological deafness: 43,000 registered Ukrainian nationals with hearing impairments (2015 Ukrainian Society of the Deaf); 223,000 (2016 IMB).



Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Recognized language (2005, Law No. 2961–IV (06.10.2005)), for use in education (2008 WFD).


None known. Relatively high lexical similarity to sign languages in Moldova [vsi] and Russia [rsl] (Bickford 2005).


One-handed fingerspelling (Cyrillic script).

Language Use

Vigorous. Used by all.

Language Development

Dictionary. Agency: Ukrainian Society of the Deaf (USD, UTOG).


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

39 preschools and 61 secondary schools for the deaf, most of which emphasize oral proficiency in Ukrainian (2015 Ukrainian Society of the Deaf). 152 deaf students in universities (2010 Kyiv Post). Sign language interpretation in universities and daily on television (2008 WFD). Deaf associations, athletic organizations. Christian.

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