President’s Foreword

Dear Friends,

This is a special year, as the WFD celebrated its 65th Birthday, commemorated the 10th Year Adoption of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and acknowledged the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Much of the WFDs work over the last 12 months are in line to observe these milestones.

We have been inspired by the support shown during the International Week of the Deaf 2016 that took place from 26 to 30 September 2016 under the theme With Sign Language, I am Equal. Thank you for creating a powerful global movement to promote sign language rights of the Deaf Community.

We are pleased to announce that the IWD 2017 will take place between 18 and 24 September 2017 in tandem with the theme of the 3rd International Conference of the WFD, Full Inclusion with Sign Language’. IWD 2017 stresses the importance of sign language – without actual recognition, facilitation and promotion of it, goals of the CRPD and 2030 Agenda SGDs cannot be fully achieved. More information about #IWD2017 will be announced early next year. We seek your patience and support to make IWD 2017 even bigger and stronger!

Aside from IWD 2017, we highly encourage you to participate in the 3rd International Conference of the WFD convening from 8-10 November 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. We are pleased to have Dr Liisa Kauppinen as the Patron of the Conference, and the following international keynote presenters namely Ms Victoria Manning (New Zealand), Csilla Bartha (Hungary), and Péter Zalán Romanek (Hungary). Note that the deadline for abstract submission is extended to 15 January 2017. Members of the WFD are entitled to a discounted price to all of the WFD events, including this. Become a WFD member via this link and join the Deaf Community from around the world in this excellent platform.

As part of our ongoing developments to increase accessibility, we are pleased to announce the launch of the WFD new website, which is made possible through financial support from Mr Bernard Bragg and National Association of the Deaf (USA). You are welcome to provide feedback via this link.

While we look forward in anticipation to exciting challenges of 2017, the WFD will reflect on our achievements by preparing a bi-annual report that will be ready by early next year. Meanwhile, we are committed to continue working towards accomplishing the goals of the WFD Action Plan 2016-2019.

To meaningfully mark the closing of the year, I highly encourage you to support the WFD by donating via this link. Any amount you wish to offer is important to our work. Your contributions will ensure a stronger WFD.

As 2016 comes to a close, the WFD would like to extend our appreciation to everyone who has made this year a rewarding one. Have a happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!