The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 23rd as the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness about the crucial role sign language plays in upholding the human rights of individuals who are deaf.
Each year on September 23rd, the International Day of Sign Languages is observed as an opportunity to promote and safeguard the linguistic and cultural heritage of the deaf community. Sign language serves as a unifying tool, making it essential to acknowledge and commemorate this day. It’s important to note that each year, the International Day of Sign Languages adopts a different theme. It is encouraged for everyone to actively engage in related activities and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of sign language.
History of International Day of Sign Languages 2023
The concept of the International Day of Sign Languages was introduced by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an organization representing the human rights of approximately 70 million deaf individuals through its 135 national member associations. The inaugural celebration took place in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.
Theme of International Day of Sign Languages 2023
The theme for this year is “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere!”. This theme underscores the unifying power of sign languages, emphasizing its importance for deaf communities, governments, and civil society organizations.
Significance of International Day of Sign Languages 2023
The significance of IDSL is to:
- Promote the linguistic identity and cultural heritage of deaf people.
- Advocate for the recognition and protection of sign languages as full and equal languages.
- Raise awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people in accessing information and services in sign language.
- Promote the use of sign language in all aspects of life, including education, employment, healthcare, and government.
Sign languages are the natural languages of deaf people. They are fully developed languages with their own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Sign languages are used by deaf people all over the world to communicate with each other and with hearing people who know sign language.
IDSL is an important opportunity to celebrate the diversity of sign languages and to promote their use in all aspects of life. It is also a day to raise awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people and to advocate for their rights.