Deaf in Chile





Largest Religion

Main Language


Patrick Speaks

Introduction / History

Chilean deaf people are located throughout the country of Chile, with most concentrated in the urban areas. Deaf population estimates vary, but the closest estimate is probably around 21 thousand signing deaf people in Chile.

There are 19 schools just for deaf people but approximately 114 that accept deaf students. Interpreters are rare and education beyond secondary school nearly impossible to access for most deaf people. Recently, however, the government has increased their focus on the Chilean deaf community and the first deaf people are now attending university with funding for interpreters by FUNADIS, the main government supported organization that works with people labeled as disabled in Chile. Chilean deaf education has traditionally used oral communication where students learn speech and lip-reading instead of sign language, but in the last couple decades has switched to a bilingual-bicultural approach with the government recognizing Chilean Sign Language (Lengua de Señas Chilena - LSCh) as the language of the Chilean deaf community.

Deaf Chileans typically gather at deaf associations or religious meetings where LSCh. Chile has the oldest national deaf association in South America Asociación de Sordos de Chile (ASOCH), founded in 1926. Currently, there are as many as 60 deaf associations located throughout the country. Although there are no known deaf-led churches, some hearing interpreted services are starting to see increased attendance and interest. Because deaf Chileans are reported to have low Spanish literacy levels and difficulty accessing Spanish Scripture, a translation team was formed in 2008 through Letra Chile to begin translating Scripture into LSCh.

Deaf Chileans indicate that their greatest community development needs include sign language dictionaries, educational sign language literature such as health materials, better and increased availability of interpreters, and better educational and employment opportunities. The Chilean deaf community is eager to be a part of this process and want to partner with others who will work with them toward a more socially just life.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Population in Chile 0
World Population Unknown
Countries 216
Progress Scale 2.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Deaf
People Cluster Deaf
People Name General Deaf
Ethnic Code
People ID 19007

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chilean Sign Language
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chilean Sign Language
For Primary Language: Chilean Sign Language

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Door International Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Christianity

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.90 %)
87.23 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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