Signing Rights for All

During this week, the International
Week of the Deaf, each day of the week has a specific focus under the main theme
of “Sign Language Rights for All!”
Monday, 23 September – Sign Language Rights for All!Tuesday, 24 September – Sign Language Rights for All
ChildrenWednesday, 25 September – Sign Language Rights for Deaf
Senior CitizensThursday, 26 September – Sign Language Rights for
DeafBlind People and Deaf People with Disabilities.Friday, 27 September – Sign Language Rights for Deaf
WomenSaturday, 28 September – Sign Language Rights for Deaf
LGBTIQA+ Sunday, 29 September – Sign Language Rights for Deaf
RefugeesAccording to the World Federation of
the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. More than
80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300
different sign languages.
Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages. There is also an international sign language, which is used by deaf people in international meetings and informally when traveling and socializing. It is considered a pidgin form of sign language that is not as complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
recognizes and promotes the use of sign languages. It makes clear that sign
languages are equal in status to spoken languages and obligates states parties
to facilitate the learning of sign language and promote the linguistic identity
of the deaf community.
The UN General Assembly has proclaimed
23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to
raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of
the human rights of people who are deaf.
The first International Day of Sign
languages was celebrated in 2018 under the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”
The resolution
establishing the day acknowledges that early access to sign language and
services in sign language, including quality education available in sign
language, is vital to the growth and development of the deaf individual and
critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. It
recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic
and cultural diversity. It also emphasizes the principle of “nothing about us
without us” in terms of working with deaf communities.


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