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International Day of Sign Languages as part of the International Week of the Deaf
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International Day of Sign Languages 2020: History, Significance, and Theme of the day

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International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated all across the world every year on 23 September as a feature of the International Week of the Deaf, which happens every year from 24-30 September. This day aims to raise awareness of the significance of sign language in the full acknowledgment of the human rights of individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf.

As indicated by the World Federation of the Deaf, there are around 72 million deaf individuals across the world. Set up, they use around 300 distinctive sign languages. This day perceives the significance of sign language in the development and improvement of the deaf and tries to save it to serve the deaf community.

Why is the International Day of Sign Languages observed on 23rd September?

The International Day of Sign Languages is seen on 23rd September to celebrate the date of the foundation of the World Federation of the Deaf, a non-governmental and non-profit association of more than 130 national associations of deaf people.

As indicated by its website, the World Federation of the Deaf “works to ensure deaf people across the globe are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to advocate for, achieve and defend their rights.”

The first International Day of Sign Languages was seen on 23rd September 2018.

International Day of Sign Languages 2020 Theme

The theme for the 2020 International Day of Sign Languages is ‘Sign Languages are for Everyone!’. As a major aspect of the day, the World Federation of the Deaf is launching a Global Leaders Challenge, asking government authorities, members from parliament, regional councilors, and different leaders to submit videos of themselves using their national sign language. The challenge will empower national associations of deaf people to cooperate with their political leaders to promote sign languages. Videos can be submitted to the WFD and will be released on its website and via social media on 23 September.

What are Sign Languages?

The sign languages are fully-fledged natural languages, just basically particular from the communicated in languages.

There is additionally an international sign language, which is used by deaf individuals in international meetings and casually when traveling and socializing.

It is considered as a form of sign language that isn’t as unpredictable as natural sign languages and has a restricted vocabulary.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities perceives and promotes the use of sign languages. It clarifies that sign languages are equivalent in status to communicate in languages and commits state parties to encourage the learning of sign language and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community.

International Day of Sign Languages: Significance

The UN resolution organizing the day recognized that early access to sign language and services in sign language, incorporating quality education accessible in sign language, is indispensable to the development and advancement of deaf people and basic to the accomplishment of the internationally concurred improvement goals.

The resolution likewise perceived the significance of saving sign languages as a part of linguistic and cultural diversity.

It additionally stressed the guideline of “nothing about us without us” in terms of working with deaf communities.

International Day of Sign Languages: History

The proposal for the International Day of Sign Languages originated from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, representing about 70 million deaf people’s human rights around the world.

The day – September 23rd-was picked as it honors the date when the World Federation of the Deaf was set up in 1951. One of the fundamental goals of the WFD is to save sign languages and deaf culture.

The first International Day of Sign Languages was praised on September 23, 2018, as a part of the International Week of the Deaf, which will happen on 24-30 September.

The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since advanced into a global movement of deaf unity and purposeful promotion to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their regular day to day existence.

World Federation of the Deaf:

The World Federation of the Deaf detailed that there are about 72 million deaf people worldwide and over 80% live in developing nations. All things considered, over 300 distinctive sign languages are used.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities additionally promotes the need for sign languages. It has likewise perceived that sign languages are equivalent in status to communicate in languages. The convention facilitates the learning of sign language and promotes the linguistic identity of the deaf community.

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