Blog article- Day 2 of International Week of Deaf People

Tuesday 19th September 2023 

The theme for day 2 of International Week of Deaf People is centred on Building Capacity Across The Globe.  

Despite efforts to maximise equal opportunities for deaf people, there are still unfortunately millions of deaf individuals who lack access to basic human rights. In order to minimise the gap between deaf people and hearing people, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) has inaugurated a 60 Country Project. The project aims to build capacities in deaf communities across the globe, specifically in the 60+ United Nations Member States which currently do not have national associations of deaf people.  

In the hope of fulfilling the WFD vision of full inclusion and equality for deaf people, their work involves breaking down barriers that will enable equality for deaf people in all areas of society. Initially, there will be a focus on the Global South Countries, where access to sign language is not always granted.  

To guarantee that equality is maximised there are various things the WFD will do to ensure inclusivity. These include: 

  • Advocacy work within the UN system.  
  • Capacity building on leadership and human rights. 
  • Sign language rights counselling.  
  • Guidances and advocacy on the right to inclusive education in the national sign language.  
  • Deaf awareness.  
  • Promoting the cuturo-linguistic minority discourse.  
  • Bringing out the voice of the most marginalised minorities within deaf communities such as deaf LGTBQIA+, deaf BIPOC, deaf women and girls. 

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) emphasises that sign language is inseparable from deaf people’s human rights. If sign language and the process of learning sign language is inaccessible and therefore not present, deaf people are not equal. Ultimately, if language is acquired in the early years of development, deaf children will be able to communicate with people. Indeed, this will improve overall cognitive and social skills. Through a successful inauguration of the 60 Country Project, the WFD hopes that inclusion and equality is maximised.  

The WFD promotes hosting awareness-raising events on deaf lives around the world within your local communities, through supporting deaf communities in the global south. Individuals can also directly donate to the on-going work carried out by the WFD here- 

The federation is making efforts to support all those countries where deaf people are severely impacted in terms of their inclusion. At this specific time, the WFD also recognises and stands alongside those deaf individuals who are in Ukraine. The federation is organizing a donation campaign to support deaf people in Ukraine with the work of The Ukrainian Society of the Deaf. Such donations will ensure that deaf people across the globe and specifically in Ukraine will be able to have full access to their deserved basic human rights.  

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