Changes within the WFD Secretariat

The WFD Board wishes to advise members of staffing changes at the WFD Secretariat.

Effective from Thursday, 15 November 2018, two staff members of the WFD Secretariat will reduce their working hours from full time to part time.  

Our people are our greatest asset and the WFD Board really appreciate the way in which both staff members have accepted these changes and their ongoing loyalty to the organisation.

The changes have occurred as a result of significant financial issues being experienced by WFD.

Some issues which have contributed to the current financial situation:

  • 40% of Ordinary Members have not paid their membership fees. This is despite repeated requests to Ordinary Members to pay their outstanding membership fees. Unpaid membership fees don’t only relate to the past year but go back to 2008, equivalent to 70,000€.
  • Monies owed from the XVII World Congress have not been received.
  • Funding for 2019 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland used to subsidise WFD Secretariat costs has not been confirmed.

As a result, the WFD Board has had no choice but to make some difficult decisions to ensure the ongoing viability of the organisation and to enable us to continue to support and enhance the human rights of deaf people around the world.

WFD continues to work hard to serve the international Deaf Community. To date, our accomplishments include:

  • Inclusion of deaf and sign language issues in general comments and concluding observations adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Coordination of the annual International Week of the Deaf
  • Adoption of the International Day of Sign Languages by the United Nations General Assembly
  • Human Rights Training for more than 15 countries through Human Rights and Maghreb Projects from 2013 – 2018

These services are provided free of charge to our Ordinary Members and to the wider world.  In order to make this happen, we need your support. 

The WFD does a lot, but the WFD cannot do it alone.  The WFD needs your support, both organisational support and individual support.    

Are you an individual member of the WFD?

Has your association paid its membership fees?

The WFD Board is currently examining ways to improve the financial situation. This includes a proposal to increase membership fees which will considered by Ordinary Members at the XX WFD General Assembly in Paris, France in July 2019. It is important to note that membership fees have not increased for 10 years.

In the interim, the WFD Board request members’ understanding when making requests of the WFD Secretariat. We may not always be able to respond as promptly as we would like.

If you or your organisation is in a position to offer financial support to WFD, we would be very grateful. If you wish to contribute, donations can be made to the WFD via

Alternatively, please contact WFD Executive Director, Eeva Tupi (