2019 International Week of the Deaf
On 19 December 2017, the UN General Assembly declared 23 September as International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL). The resolution was proposed through the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN, following an original request by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). There were 97 UN Member States including Canada voted for adoption of the resolution as co-sponsors. The choice of 23 September commemorates the date the WFD was established in 1951. The objective of the IDSL is to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status about sign languages.
The IDSL takes place on the last full week of September as part of the International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf), which was recognized and celebrated by the WFD in 1958. The IWDeaf is celebrated through various activities by respective Deaf communities in Canada and around the world. These activities call for participation and involvement of various stakeholders including families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, and Disabled Person Organizations (DPOs).
The theme for this year, which is announced by the WFD: “Sign Language Rights for All!” that is scheduled to be on September 23 to 29, 2019. During the closing ceremony at XVII WFD Congress in Paris, France on July 27, 2019, the WFD introduced the WFD Charter on Sign Language Rights for All, which reaffirms strong commitment to take all necessary steps to safeguard the inclusion of Deaf people in society, recognition of their needs, dignity and human rights as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and all other international human rights treaties. Also, it commits to ensuring the promotion of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution that recognizing September 23rd as the International Day of Sign Languages as part of the International Week of the Deaf.
The Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) is proudly to endorse WFD’s key campaign theme for promoting International Week of the Deaf 2019:
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL!: Monday, 23 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL CHILDREN: Tuesday, 24 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL DEAF SENIOR CITIZENS: Wednesday, 25 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR DEAFBLIND PEOPLE AND DEAF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Thursday, 26 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR DEAF WOMEN: Friday, 27 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR DEAF LGBTIQA+: Saturday, 28 September
- SIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL DEAF REFUGEES: Sunday, 29 September
Below, you will find a list of various activities undertaken across Canada that organizes 2019 International Week of Deaf: