WFD partners with Discovering Deaf Worlds

WFD and DDW signed a MOU to strengthen and empower Deaf Communities in developing countries

Colin Allen, President of the WFD, and Shane Feldman, President of Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW), met in Washington DC, USA, on 10 March 2017 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations.

The MOU outlines their commitment to strengthen and empower the national deaf associations in the developing world through organisational and human rights capacity building project training and resources.

Founded in 2006, DDW is a non-governmental organisation based in Rochester, New York, USA. Its mission is to advance the self-determination of signing Deaf Communities in developing countries. DDW provides leadership and organisational development capacity building training to national deaf associations in these areas, and is currently the only known deaf-led organisation fully focused on this work.

WFD and DDW share common values in promoting the human rights of deaf people through sign language(s). In particular, both recognise sign language(s) as an equal language which deaf children should be given access to, as a birth right, for their bilingual education as well as part of their cultural and linguistic identity. As such, there is a need to increase the national deaf associations understanding on the current human rights situation of their Deaf Communities. It is also important to impart knowledge of human rights mechanisms, implementation and monitoring, as well as local disability approaches, policies, processes and key actors.

Mr Allen said, “This partnership with DDW will further increase our commitment to increase the role of the national deaf associations as effective actors in engaging with the policy process to ensure that the human rights of deaf people are realised.”

Mr Feldman added, ”DDW is excited and looks forward to working with the WFD and its national deaf associations in the developing countries to realise the principles of the MOU.”