Deaf in Russia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Patrick Speaks

Introduction / History

There are approximately 8.7 million Deaf and "Hard of Hearing" in the Russian Federation and Central Asia countries according to 2000 census data. There are no recent census statistics available for Russia's approximately sixty-five different administrative regions plus twenty-one separate republics.

The former Soviet government established a limited number of schools specifically for the Deaf. At these schools, the Deaf meet and mix with other Deaf students from a broad range of other ethnic groups. As a result, the Deaf see themselves as Deaf first and then secondly as their particular ethnic group. Russian Sign language is said to be standardized everywhere in Russia thanks to the education policies of the former Soviet government.

There does not seem to be a distinction between Russian Sign Language versus Signed Russian (where words are signed in the Russian word order and have the same meaning as the Russian words). There is some limited evidence pointing towards a growth of non-Russian sign languages as other ethnic groups are developing a sense of pride in their history and language.

The Soviet government also established a policy directed toward the formation of factories and other places of employment. Those places were largely focused on providing a working environment for Deaf employees, thus providing them with a more homogeneous working environment adapted to their needs. Currently there are many attempts to communicate the Gospel to the Deaf of Russia. There is some question regarding the overall effectiveness of this approach, however, due to the differences between printed Russian and Russian sign language.

At present, there are many hearing churches that provide sign language interpretation during their services; however, there are relatively few churches specifically for the Deaf themselves.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Population in Russia 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
Country Russia
Region Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Moscow and St. Petersburg are major centers. Widespread with significant dialect variation.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

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

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Door International Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Russian Sign Language Film / Video
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Orthodox

Major Religion Percent
1.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.90 %)
66.00 %
Ethnic Religions
1.00 %
0.00 %
13.00 %
19.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
1.0 %
96.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
2.0 %
Roman Catholic
1.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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