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Category: International Week of the Deaf

**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.
 
References:
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

National Week of Deaf People 2016 (15 – 23 October 2016)

2016-nwdp-image
With Auslan, I am Equal
Each year, starting on 3rd weekend of October, Deaf Australia and the deaf community in Australia celebrate National Week of Deaf People (NWDP).
Deaf Australia will be launching the NWDP at the National Auslan Conference in Melbourne and there will be heaps of activities organised by various organisations, clubs and individual throughout the week. If you wish to register your event/ activities, please register here.
Throughout the week, Deaf Australia will be posting key messages on our Facebook/ Twitter to raise awareness of the NWDP. You can help by re-posting Facebook messages and re-tweeting our messages.
We will be focusing on

  • Birth Rights: deaf children to access and acquire Auslan as their first language;
  • Deaf Identity: deaf people are a cultural and linguistic minority who use Auslan as their primary language;
  • Accessibility: deaf people need access to public information and services through Auslan;
  • Equal Language: recognising Auslan as an equal language as other spoken/ written languages;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity: removing the barriers where hearing is a requirement and to promote greater inclusion and opportunities for deaf people to realise their dreams;
  • Bilingual Education: accepting the need for bilingual education for deaf children (Auslan and English), and for teachers and interpreters to be fully accessible;
  • Equal Participation: deaf people to be able to fully participate in the personal, public and political areas along with everyone else; and
  • Lifelong Learning: access to education, training and ongoing professional development is the key to gaining and retaining a job and to be able to make a living. 

The theme is an adaption of the theme for the World Federation of the Deaf International Week of Deaf People, which is ‘With Sign Language, I am Equal’, beginning today.
You can help by joining the campaign by organising or being involved with NWDP activities in your local area. We have included the NWDP Info Kit 2016 for your use as a resource. This toolkit can be used by anyone in Australia to help promote awareness of Deaf people and Auslan.
With Auslan, I am Equal.
[minimal_icon style=”download” url=”https://deafaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/National-Week-of-Deaf-People-info-kit-final.pdf” target=”_self” lightbox_content=”” lightbox_description=””]Download the NWDP 2016 Toolkit here.[/minimal_icon]

International Week of the Deaf: September 2013

Equality for Deaf People

It is again that time of the year when Deaf people around the world gather together with the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) to celebrate International Week of the Deaf.

International Week of the Deaf is celebrated annually by Deaf people worldwide during the last full week of September. 133 national associations of the Deaf worldwide organise events, marches, debates, campaigns and meetings to highlight specific human rights topics that merit attention by local and national governmental authorities, including decision makers, general public and media.
International Week of the Deaf is about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world. The International Week of Deaf also increases solidarity among Deaf people and allies and is used as a way to stimulate greater efforts to promote the rights of Deaf people. The activities also welcome the involvement of parents and families of Deaf people, interpreters, professionals who work with Deaf people and government officials.
For last several years the WFD identified yearly themes for International Week of the Deaf celebrations:

  • 2009 Deaf people’s cultural achievements
  • 2010 Deaf education
  • 2011 Accessibility to information and communications
  • 2012 Sign Bilingualism is a Human Right!
  • 2013 Equality for Deaf People

This year’s theme focuses on equality for Deaf people, amongst Deaf people and promoted by Deaf people. Equality for Deaf People recognises contributions by Deaf people to global prosperity, human rights of all Deaf people, and preparation of Deaf communities worldwide for future challenges.
Equality for Deaf People celebrates the linguistic, artistic, social, political and cultural contributions and accomplishments of Deaf people. This theme also focuses on recognition of sign languages around the world. Focus on Equality for Deaf People also prepares us to look towards the future with a clear vision with renewed energies for creating positive change in local communities worldwide.
International Week of the Deaf provides an excellent opportunity to share and discuss ways to promote collaboration on equality for Deaf people based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The WFD has asked national members to choose one, two or more issues that are related to this year’s theme in observing International Week of the Deaf. This could involve issues related to language recognition, educational rights, attitudes towards a sign bilingual society or awareness raising within the Deaf community about their rights as bilingual citizens.
Also, the WFD is encouraging national associations of the Deaf to host fundraising activities or events to support the WFD and its human rights efforts across the globe.
The WFD Secretariat will update its Facebook page to include the activities undertaken by national associations of the Deaf.
Please share your International Week of the Deaf photos and stories with [mailto]phillipa.sandholm@kl-deaf.fi[/mailto] Interested persons can join WFD as an individual member and support WFD’s work.

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