Sep: International Day of Sign Languages & Week of the Deaf
Sign for Human Rights
The International Day of Sign Languages is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all Deaf people and other sign language users.
It is an opportunity to also learn how the revitalisation of Indigenous Sign Languages can enhance the wellbeing of deaf Indigenous people.
[Image: Maleni Chaitoo addresses a meeting using sign language during the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2015]
Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from spoken languages. There is also an international sign language, which is used by Deaf people in international meetings and informally when travelling. It is considered a pidgin form of sign language that is not as complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon.
Early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education available in sign language, is vital to the growth and development of the Deaf individual.
The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are Deaf.
In Australia, 16,000 people use Auslan at home – Australian Government 2021 National Census.
International Week of the Deaf
The International Week of the Deaf is celebrated annually in the last full week of September.
The International Week of the Deaf is a time of various activities by Deaf Communities all around the world. These activities and events welcome the participation of all members of deaf communities, which include families of deaf people, professional and accredited sign language interpreters, peers, as well as the involvement of various stakeholders such as national governments, national and international human rights organisations, and Organisations of Persons with Disabilities.
Visit the International Week of the Deaf website
The World Federation of the Deaf prepared a toolkit to prepare for the celebrations of the International Week of the Deaf People and the International Week of Sign Languages 2023.
The toolkit contains:
- International Week of Deaf People 2023 – Daily Themes
- International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages 2023 – Theme in International Sign
- International Day of Sign Languages 2023 – Global Leaders Challenge
- International Day of Sign Languages 2023 – Shine a Blue Light on Sign Languages!
- Logo of International Day of Sign Languages 2023
- Logo of International Week of Deaf People 2023
Download these resources at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-MLlhRRPUS1g3Im7aBAoRkkUHLTdjnom