In the United States, September has been adopted as Deaf Awareness Month! However, the renowned International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) is celebrated annually during the last full week of September. National Associations of the Deaf, local communities and individuals around the world celebrate the rich history, language and culture of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community. The theme for the 2019 IWDeaf, which begins Monday, September 23rd, will be “Sign Language Rights for All”. Each day that follows will focus on sign language rights for individual groups. For more information, you may view the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) website.
The WFD established International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) in 1958 to commemorate when the first World Congress of the WFD was held. While this originated in Rome, Italy, IWDeaf is currently celebrated around the globe at various times throughout the year to recognize the language, culture and experience of people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. We all are stakeholders and look to members of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community, peers, family, colleagues, professional sign language interpreters, interpreting agencies, and service providers to participate.
What can YOU do to support Deaf Awareness this month?
Learn about deafness and seek to gain an understanding about Deaf culture including misconceptions about being Deaf and the challenges members of the Deaf community face in a hearing society
Find ways to celebrate the culture, language, and history unique to Deaf people
Research achievements of Deaf people, including celebrity Deaf individuals
Support the rights of Deaf people by providing access to information and services using sign language
- Get Involved
Utilize online resources or ask a member of the Deaf community to teach you a few simple greetings that you can use the next time you interact with a Deaf person
Follow us to find out about different events throughout the month: www.facebook.com/HISsign