2014 International Week of the Deaf

News & Events
September 12, 2014


Strengthening Human Diversity
September 22-28, 2014

World Federation of the Deaf’s Theme:

WFD has identified the theme: “Strengthening Human Diversity”. The two dimensions of the theme include promotion of deaf people as part of global human diversity as well as recognition of the diversity and richness of the global deaf community itself.

Strengthening Human Diversity draws upon the basic principles of human rights and respect for all people and diversity with respect to language, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies. This theme is about recognizing differences as possibilities and assets instead of disabilities that should be changed. It is also about recognizing that each deaf individual is unique, with strengths that can make a positive effect on society.

Canadian Association of the Deaf’s Theme:

  1. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, businesses, and public must recognize the diverse needs of Deaf people based on their age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and physical/mental disability, including Deaf members of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities.
  2. In compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the federal government must introduce and pass an amendment to the Official Language Act through House of Commons and Senate of Canada to recognize, promote, and protect our human rights to Deaf people’s first languages in Canada — American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue de Signes de Quebecoise (LSQ) — and the linguistic identity of the Deaf community.
  3. In compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Government of Canada must amend the Canada Immigration Act to remove those clauses which discriminate against immigrant applicants on the basis of their disability and the subjectively-assumed “burden on social services”. These clauses have been used repeatedly and without justification to block Deaf applicants from coming to Canada to obtain the education and employment that are denied them in their country of origin.
  4. Provincial/territorial governments under their constitutional responsibilities for education, employment, immigration services, court administrative services, health care and social programs must provide ASL and LSQ in order for Deaf people to have equal access to such services and programs.
  5. Federal, provincial/territorial governments and businesses need to recognize that Deaf women are subject to multiple discrimination; therefore a gender perspective must be included in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  6. Federal and provincial/territorial governments must provide a legal structure to recognize and promote certified, qualified and professionally-trained ASL-English interpreters, LSQ-French interpreters, Deaf Interpreters and ASL-LSQ interpreters.

Below, you will find a list of various activities undertaken in each province that organizes 2014 International Week of Deaf: