Why Do We Celebrate International Day of Sign Languages? Theme, History and Significance


INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SIGN LANGUAGES 2022: Sign language gives people, who are hard of hearing, a medium to converse. To support the development and preservation of sign language, the International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated annually on September 23. As the name suggests, this day aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of sign language in the realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf. Thus, the United Nations General Assembly decided to commemorate this particular day as the International Day of Sign Languages.

International Day Of Sign Languages: History

The proposal to observe the International Day of Sign Languages came from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). The WFD is a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people. The federation represents roughly 70 million deaf people around the world.

The first International Day of Sign Languages was celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf, a celebration that saw its advent in September 1958 and is celebrated from 24-30 September. Since then, the day is annually marked on September 23. This year marks the fifth celebration of the International Day of Sign Languages.

International Day Of Sign Languages: Significance

Sign languages are visual languages that pass your message through the use of gestures or symbols. Each country has its own sign language, for eg- in the US, it is American sign language whereas in the UK it is British sign language. The International Day of Sign Language throws light on the importance of preserving this medium of communication for deaf people.

The day also gives a stage for the development of sign language. It also focuses on the internationally agreed development goals and the achievements associated with them.

International Day Of Sign Languages 2022: Theme

This year’s International Day of Sign Languages theme is “Sign Language Unite Us.” The federation, on its official page, wrote, “The country leaders – whether Prime Ministers, Presidents, other government officials, members of parliaments, members of city council – should sign this year’s theme “Sign Languages Unite Us!” in their national sign language.”

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