Contrary to popular belief, sign language is not a universal language. Like spoken languages, sign languages around the world are different. Gestuno is a former term for the current term, "International Sign Language." Gestuno is to Deaf as Esperanto is to Hearing. It helps Deaf officials, as well as some culturally Deaf individuals, participants, and athletes, communicate with each other at ease at the international-level meetings, conventions, and games.
The "unification" of sign languages was naturally formed at the time of the first Congress constituting the World Federation of the Deaf in 1951 in Rome, Italy. The term Gestuno is an Italian word roughly for "oneness of sign languages". The WFD committee gathered to compile a new dictionary of "Gestuno" to be presented at the 7th Congress of the WFD in 1975 in Washington, D.C.
Gestuno is an artificially devised sign language or a communication system. Its vocabulary is composed of loan words and iconic (onomatopoeic) words, in which a signed word is selected from different sign languages that Deaf people conventionally agreed to use at international events and meetings. The lexicon of International Sign is not permanently conventional. It has been constantly changing over periods of time.
The term "Gestuno" became obsolete and the current term "International Sign" or "International Sign Language" has become a common use in English.
Gestuno: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Published for the World Federation of the Deaf by The British Deaf Association. 1975.