The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) said that, following the declaration by the United Nations (UN), International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) will be celebrated annually on September 23 as part of the International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf), the global organization working to ensure equal rights for those with hearing loss announced on its website. IWDeaf—first launched in Rome in 1958—is celebrated annually the last week in September to commemorate the first World Congress of the WFD.

“With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” IDSL will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018, along with IWDeaf, which runs between Monday, September 24 and Sunday, September 30, 2018.


“With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” observes the following collective goals of the IDSL and IWDeaf:

  • Reach out to and influence as many governments as possible to legally fulfill their obligations.
  • Promotes deaf people as unique in having both perspectives of disability and linguistic minority and that sign language and deaf culture strengthens multilingualism and are means of promoting, protecting, and preserving diversity of languages and cultures globally.
  • Reflects the principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in its recognition of sign languages as equal to spoken languages. Sign languages are fully-fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from spoken languages, alongside which they coexist.
  • Emphasizes sign language as a critical prerequisite to the full realization of human rights for deaf people. Early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education available in sign language, is vital to the growth and development of the deaf individual and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.
  • Stresses that when working with deaf communities, the principle of “nothing about us without us” must be considered and integrated.


The recommended hashtags for both the IDSL and IWDeaf are:


Source: World Federation of the Deaf

Image: World Federation of the Deaf