International Week of the Deaf widely celebrated!

For the International Week of the Deaf 2016, the WFD published an extensive material package to support its members’ national campaigns.  These materials received more than 11,200 clicks, 15 Facebook posts reached 672,910 people, garnered 33,672 reactions and 47,700 post clicks. WFD members in Latvia, Poland and Mozambique now wish to share their experiences to all of you on how to run an effective campaign and celebrate the 2016 theme: “With Sign Language, I am equal”.

Original stories provided by WFD members in Latvia, Poland and Mozambique


Members of the Latvian Association of the Deaf (LAD) celebrated the International Day of the Deaf throughout the month of September with various activities under the global WFD theme: “With Sign Language, I am equal”.

At the beginning of the month LAD’s Rehabilitation centre, responsible for Latvian Sign language development, organised an Open Day and a lecture on sign language and Deaf culture for hearing audience, in order to celebrate the Latvian Sign Language Day.

Other activities included special screening of an American movie “Children of a Lesser God”, with a translation in sign language, with the popular Deaf actress Marlee Matlin in the leading role. Presentations and workshops, exhibitions and video stories as well as a concert performed by Latvian deaf amateur artists and students of deaf schools were organised during the month. Also the regional branches of LAD were involved and raised awareness of the hearing community on deaf issues.

LAD held series of public meetings with experts on various topics, such as Guidelines in emergency situations; Deaf culture; Deaf identity and strengthening the self-confidence in the Deaf community.  A meeting with the Chief of Civil Protection division of State Fire and Rescue service was useful: he told how Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can reach 112 (emergency number) both nationally and whilst traveling abroad. Plans on improving the information accessibility for deaf people in emergency situations have also started.

All activities organised this year received a higher interest from the mass media than before. Official greetings from the Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis were also received.


TV Studio interviewing National Director of INEFP

TV Studio interviewing National Director of INEFP

In Mozambique the key messages of education and employment were raised.

A video report, with Portuguese subtitles, can be found via:








Polish Association of the Deaf and CHANGE Warsaw organised a Social campaign called: ”Poland is all ears” in conjunction with the International Week of the Deaf. The campaign increased the attention of the media: all together 233 publications were made in a little more than a month, comprising news on public and private TV channels, radio, printed press, internet and social media. The campaign reached total of 65 million recipients. Campaign activities included:

  • the news anchors were placed at the bottom corner of the screen, while their usual place was taken by sign language interpreters
  • celebrities  greeted their social media followers in sign language
  • facebook users were invited to greet in sign language and publish the video on their timeline with #polskazamieniasiewsluch
  • popular vloggers published special videos about deaf or with sign language translator
  • campaign spot was shown on TV (public and private)
  • context film was screened in all Helios cinemas in Poland
  • radio, national and local press published several articles about deaf community in Poland
  • Eucharist was translated into sign language (on TV and on Facebook)