INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DEAF
International Week of the Deaf during the last week of September draws attention to the accomplishments of people who are deaf and also promotes their rights. (It is also known as the Deaf Awareness Week or International Week of Deaf People.)
During this week, organizations publicize many activities and informational campaigns to educate people about deafness. Additionally, companies and agencies often mark the event. Schools, colleges, and universities hold awareness events as well.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports around 466 million people worldwide to have disabling hearing loss (1). Of those, 34 million are children. 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes. The WHO estimates 1.1 billion young people between 12 and 35 years of age at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings such as music concerts.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WeekOfTheDeaf
Recognize achievements of deaf people and those who were instrumental in their advancement. Notable figures include bodybuilder/actor Lou Ferrigno, actress Marlee, actor Leslie Nielsen, Girls Scouts of America founder Juliette Low, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend of The Who.
Visit the website World Federation of the Deaf.
Read a brief online story of the fantastic history of deafness in society and how it’s been overcome.
Use #WeekOfTheDeaf or #IWDeaf to follow on social media.
Learn a few sign language expressions. Here’s a good place to start. Visit verywellhealth.com to start.
Read a book about deafness
- Freddy and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson.
- The Deaf Musicians by Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs.
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick.
- Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha’s Vineyard by Nora Ellen Groce.
- A Loss for Words by Lou Ann Walker.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DEAF HISTORY
International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last week of September each year to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held.