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International Day of Sign Languages

Monday
23
September

What is International Day of Sign Languages?

This day aims to raise awareness and support of deaf people and other sign language users, to protect their linguistic identity and promote the use of sign languages. There are more than 300 different sign languages worldwide, which are used by over 70 million deaf people globally.

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) represent the human rights of the 70 million deaf people. Naturally, the 23rd of September was dedicated to International Day of Sign Languages, as it commemorates the day the WFD was established in 1951.

The WFD choose a theme each year to focus on an aspect of sign languages that needs more attention and awareness. This theme for 2024 is TBC.

How is International Day of Sign Languages Celebrated?

The WFD choose a theme and run online events to mark the occasion. All activities are designed to educate, raise awareness, and celebrate thriving deaf communities.

Many people choose to learn one of the many sign languages or gain a basic level of understanding, which is the best way to create inclusion for sign language users.

International Day of Sign Languages and Employment

It is important that employers do not discriminate against deaf or hard of hearing employees. Employers can create an inclusive workplace for sign language users by:

  • Providing support and consulting with employees on their needs including the use of sign language interpreters
  • Providing enough notice for meetings, so that support can be booked
  • Ensuring inclusive recruitment practices, including access to interviews and applications.
  • Providing deaf awareness training to all employees, to gain a better understanding in the workplace
  • Providing support and consulting with employees on their needs including the use of sign language interpreters
  • Providing enough notice for meetings, so that support can be booked
  • Ensuring inclusive recruitment practices, including access to interviews and applications.
  • Providing deaf awareness training to all employees, to gain a better understanding in the workplace