**Media Release** International Day of Sign Language formally adopted by UN and announcement of National Week of Deaf People 2018
Deaf Australia wishes to congratulate the United Nations in adopting the resolution for the International Day of Sign Languages today at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
International Day of Sign Languages will be held on 23 September annually.
The World Federation of the Deaf, which Deaf Australia is a National Member, have sought support from Antigua and Barbuda who proposed this resolution. The resolution was co-sponsored by 97 United Nations Members States (including Australia) and adopted by consensus.
Why International Day of Sign Languages?
The aim of International Day of Sign Languages is to raise greater awareness and recognition of sign languages, and that early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education, is vital to the growth and development of deaf individual and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.
Why 23 September?
This is the date that commemorate the establishment of World Federation of the Deaf in 1951, which has as one of main goals, the preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people.
What is Australia’s Sign Language?
The sign language of Australia is known as Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Auslan has been recognised by the Federal Government as a community language of Australia in 1991.
How can Australia be Involved?
The National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) is hosted by Deaf Australia and provides many organisations, schools and others the opportunity to raise awareness of deaf people and Auslan. Traditionally, we host this event during October, however in recognition of the establishment of the International Day of Sign Languages, the NWDP will be moved to coincide with the International Day of Sign Languages.
When is the next National Week of Deaf People?
National Week of Deaf People will be on 23 – 29 September 2018. In the following years Deaf Australia hopes to align the National Week of Deaf People with the International Week of Deaf hosted by the World Federation of the Deaf, traditionally held during the last week of September.
What activity can be held during the National Week of Deaf People?
State organisations and other community organisations, clubs, schools and others host a wide range of activities through the week including workshops and lessons where people can learn Auslan, other workshops and presentations about deaf people and their community, community festivals, fundraising activities, and many more.
To find out more about these activities, please check for registered activities on Deaf Australia’s website.
If an organisation wishes to provide activities through the week and to promote to the deaf community, you can register the event on Deaf Australia’s website.
Deaf Australia will be working with the government, business and organisations to help promote the National Week of Deaf People and the International Day of Sign Languages.
Please view here to see Auslan Translation of Media Release.
United Nations’ Resolution: A/C.3/72/L.36/Rev.1
World Federation of the Deaf Press Release: Press Release
National Week of Deaf People: www.deafaustralia.org.au/NWDP