Developed in Australia in the early 1980s, Signed English is a contrived system of signs that follow the grammar and structure of the English language.  Whilst some Auslan signs are used in Signed English, it is not a language in its own right; rather it is a visual representation of English.

Another way to express this is that Signed English is a manual form of English, following exactly the grammar and structure of English with each English word being signed.  It was used in compulsory education in an effort to improve the English literacy levels of children with significant early-life deafness [see more].  In the current compulsory education system it is now used less; however, it was extensively used in Australia during the 1980s and 90s.

Whilst it is not usually used by deaf adults to communicate, there are some deaf people who were taught Signed English who still use it as their primary mode of communication.  However, the number of such individuals is very small and usually the individual has an intellectual disability in addition to his or her deafness.

 

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