International Week of Deaf People 2021 and
International Day of Sign Languages 2021


The International Week of Deaf People (IWDP) 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 during  the last full week of September to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held. The International Week of Deaf People is celebrated through various activities by Deaf Communities all around the world. These activities and events welcome the participation of all members of deaf communities, which include families of deaf people, professional and accredited sign language interpreters, peers, as well as the involvement of various stakeholders such as national governments, national and international human rights organizations, and Organisations of Persons with Disabilities.

Theme for 2021:
Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities

20 to 26 september 2021


Theme for 2021:
We Sign for Human Rights

23 september 2021


Daily themes

Date Theme
Monday 20 September 2021 Cherishing Deaf History
Tuesday 21 September 2021 Sustainable Deaf Leadership
Wednesday 22 September 2021 Sign languages for All Deaf Learners
Thursday 23 September 2021 We Sign for Human Rights!
Friday 24 September 2021 Intersectional Deaf Communities
Saturday 25 September 2021 Deaf Culture and Arts
Sunday 26 September 2021 Human Rights in Times of Crisis

As of 2021, the International Week of Deaf will now be known as the International Week of Deaf People (IWDP).  This name change in name comes from the decision of the XVI WFD General Assembly, in which our Ordinary Members requested that

  1. The WFD work to establish an International Day of Sign Languages,
  2. Change the name of our annual celebration to the International Week of Deaf People.

We accomplished the first goal in 2017, with the UN Resolution recognizing 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages. From 2021, we celebrate the International Week of Deaf People!


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