September 23: International Day of Sign Languages

The International Day of Sign Languages was observed on September 23, 2021 to raise awareness regarding the importance of sign language.

Key facts

  • The day is observed every year by the UN General Assembly.
  • It is observed with the objective of raising awareness on the importance of sign language in full realisation of human rights of deaf people.
  • This day provides a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of deaf people and other people who uses sign language.
  • It also acknowledges the early access to sign language and several services in sign language such as quality education which is vital for the development and growth of deaf individual.

Theme of the day

Theme of the International Day of Sign Languages, 2021 was declared by the World Federation of the Deaf. The theme is- “We Sign For Human Rights”. The theme highlights how each of us, deaf and hearing people, can work together to promote the recognition of our right of using sign languages in all areas of life.

Background

First ever International Day of Sign Language was observed on September 23, 2018 across the world, with the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”. The day was celebrated as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which is observed during September 24 to 30. The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in the year 1958 and has evolved into a global movement of deaf unity since then.

Who proclaimed the day?

The International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

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