WFD News – President’s message in the February Newsletter

Busy times

Last year between August and December, 2016, I travelled to visit 14 countries in Europe, Asia and USA in my voluntary role as both WFD President and International Disability Alliance (IDA) Chair to attend various events such as roundtable meetings, seminars, conferences and the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum.  In some countries, I presented lectures about the CRPD and Deaf Education or led workshops for the Deaf Community including visits to Deaf Schools.   I also led board meetings for both the IDA Board in Geneva, Switzerland and then the WFD Board in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was a very busy time for me as I was responsible for both roles. I also gained great insight into issues facing deaf people during each country visit.  I would like to acknowledge the host organisers who funded some of the trips including paying for accommodation and meals – Thank you!

Deaf Education

Frank Barnes School for the Deaf, London UK

Royal School for the Deaf Derby, UK







I would like to share the learning I gained about deaf education as I had the privilege of visiting at least five Deaf Units and Deaf Schools in Europe and Asia which gave me an excellent opportunity to observe Bilingualism Programs for deaf children/students.   It is critically important to employ qualified Deaf Teachers to teach in this type of deaf bilingual educational program so that students are taught using their national sign language.  This is reflected in CRPD Article – Education No 24.3c and 24.4 that states:

CRPD Article – Education No 24.3c and 24.4


We are very keen to see more of this position paper be translated into many country sign languages as we work together to achieve our message for this year – International Week of the Deaf  – Full Inclusion with Sign Language!

The WFD released a position paper on the Language Rights of Deaf Children and it has been received very well. The WFD Board received a congratulatory letter from the New Zealand Government Education Department affirming this and stating that the paper greatly assisted their work in promoting the importance of Sign Language for Deaf Children.  The position paper is available via our website including in International Sign. Please also note that the British Deaf Association has translated this position paper into British Sign Language which you can view via this link.

Have you seen our new WFD Website?

WFD Website

If you have not seen our new website – please click this website which is made possible through financial support from Mr Bernard Bragg and the National Association of the Deaf (USA).

We really would like to receive your feedback on the new website as we are trying our best to improve access on the new website.   Please note, we are still working to improve some parts of the website – you are welcome to provide feedback via this link.

WFD Newsletter Article Submission

The WFD Newsletter is a regular e-newsletter providing information on deaf issues that align with the mission and vision of the WFD.  We welcome submissions for the WFD newsletters on a regular basis.

The WFD reserves the reasonable right to accept or not publish submitted articles. Please click this link: WFD Newsletter Submission requirements to read the requirements before sending your submission to