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International Week of the Deaf

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and it is celebrated by the global deaf community every year during the last full week of September (19 - 25).

The International Week of Deaf People lets people come together and recognise deaf culture - be it through communities, languages or sign languages.

The theme for 2022 is "Building Inclusive Communities for All". As well as Deaf people feeling connected to their Deaf community, they should also feel connected to wider society and those within the hearing community. If people come together to show awareness for Deaf people, it can help to better connect them to others. People can learn how to communicate with Deaf people, contributing to positive change and breaking down stereotypical barriers.

During this week people can come together to recognise and celebrate the vibrant Deaf community.

Daily Themes:

Monday 19 Sept - Sign Languages in Education

Tuesday 20 Sept - Sustainable economic opportunities for deaf people

Wednesday 21 Sept- Health for All

Thursday 22 Sept - Safeguarding deaf people in times of crisis

Friday 23 Sept - Sign Languages Unite Us!

International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated annually across the world on 23 September every year alongside the International Week of the Deaf.

The Day is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries and collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages!⁠

To support this information, an example “speaks” volumes: In the video I'll sign in Spanish Sign Language (LSE) and Lorraine will sign in British Sign Language (BSL). ⁠

Spot the differences!

Saturday 24 Sept - Intersectional Deaf Communities

Sunday 25 Sept - Deaf Leadership for Tomorrow


There are many different ways to celebrate the International Week of Deaf People. We will give you some ideas:

  • You might want to support (volunteer or fundraise) a charity that supports Deaf people within your local community

  • You can learn basic sign language and increase awareness of Deaf culture⁠ to develop an understanding of deafness⁠. It has a positive impact on Deaf people.


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