International Day of Sign Languages: 23 September

The International Day of Sign Languages is observed globally on 23 September every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages. Also, the last full week of September is observed as International Week of the Deaf.

The theme for the 2020 International Day of Sign Languages is “Sign Languages are for Everyone!”

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History of International Day of Sign Languages:

The proposal for the Day came from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, representing approximately 70 million deaf people’s human rights worldwide. The choice of 23 September commemorates the date that the WFD was established in 1951.

This day marks the birth of an advocacy organisation, which has as one of its main goals, the preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people. The International Day of Sign Languages was first celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf. The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity and concerted advocacy to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their everyday lives.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Federation of the Deaf President: Joseph J. Murray.
  • World Federation of the Deaf Founded: 23 September 1951, Rome, Italy.
  • World Federation of the Deaf Headquarters location: Helsinki, Finland.

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