Our Work / Our Projects


Our Projects

We conduct Human Rights and Capacity Building Trainings and Projects in partnership with our country members. The main aim is to build capacity of our Ordinary Members so that they know their human rights and advocate for them through participation and contribution to the CRPD parallel reports.

These projects have been made possible through grants from respective donors. For more information about funding the WFD Projects, contact WFD Development Officer at nafisah.rantasalmi@wfd.fi.

The Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People, funded by SHIA and SDR started in July 2007 and was finalised in December 2008. During this one and a half year, SDR had the role of a member organisation whereas the WFD was the partner organisation being in charge of the project implementation. This project was conducted through a wide fact finding survey conducted on the seven WFD Regional Secretariat areas (WFD EEMARS, WFD RS/AP, WFD RSSA, WFD MCAC, WFD RSESA, WFD WCAR, and WFD RSAR).

The aim was to seek data on various issues such as deaf associations’ organisational structure, deaf population, deaf education, legislation and policies relating to deaf people, access to information and media, employment situation and status of sign language interpreting services. Consequently, one of the objectives this project was thus to obtain a comprehensive view of the situation of both deaf people and the national associations of the deaf as well as acquire useful information to be used later on in the advocacy work of each country. As a result, the WFD obtained a rich quantity of new information on the living conditions of deaf people.

The needs identified during this project are:

  1. The need to increase deaf people’s awareness on their human rights and give training on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
  2. The need to support and strengthen the capacity of each national deaf association by providing them with tools that empower deaf people themselves to advocate for their rights.
  3. The need to strengthen the capacity of deaf people to run their own organisations independently and democratically.
  4. The need to increase awareness of the larger deaf community on deaf issues and human rights.

It was also found that of the seven regions, WFD RSAR was identified in average as the weakest one together with the WFD WCAR. Deaf people in these regions face serious problems in all aspects of their lives due to lack of respect for their human rights. Additionally, women’s participation and recognition in the society is weak in general and more so among deaf women. Although there are enormous challenges also in many other countries, the results of the survey strongly indicated that the need for a project particularly in this region was especially high.

This project is funded by SHIA and conducted in cooperation with the Swedish National Association of the Deaf.

The project benefited 18 of the WFD country members namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Cote dlvoire, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

  • HRO 1 (2013): El Salvador, Azerbaijan
  • HRO 2 (2014): Dominican Republic and Mongolia
  • HRO 3 (2015-2016): Ethiopia, Serbia, Colombia.

This Project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the WFD and was conducted in Tunisia from 5-9 May 2014 as a part of a preparatory mission. The objective was to discuss needs for a capacity building project in the Maghreb region.

A 4-day workshop was led by the WFD Board Member, Dr Joseph Murray and WFD Human Rights Officer, Ms Eeva Tupi, and attended by representatives of national associations of the deaf from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Ms Hend al-Showaier, the regional director of the WFD RSAR, was also present.

Some common problems uncovered are:

  • Deaf women are generally isolated from both deaf and mainstream communities
  • Some national associations of the deaf had been led by same people for decades and new people who have taken over them in recent years need capacity building training in leadership and human rights
  • Cooperation with other DPOs and government is not as fruitful as it could be
  • Seeking funding for national associations of the deaf is a challenge
  • Lack of awareness on importance of preserving national sign language (unified Arab sign language is a threat that could eliminate national sign languages)
  • Sign language dictionary work is mainly led by hearing people with exclusion of the national associations of the deaf
  • Slow development in Sign language interpretation: lack of service, funding for that, deaf people are not involved in interpreter training programs and public bodies use interpreters whose signing is not understood by deaf people

Through engagement with stakeholders, the WFD is able to assess capacity needs and identify pre-existing conditions.

Funded by Abilis Foundation, the main objectives of this Project is primarily to collect and share information from and with the following WFD country members: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay . The infomation gathered will be analysed, prescribed, and implemented in a separate WFD-ANSORDO capacity building and training project that aims to advance legal capacity of deaf people in Latin America.

The main activities of the Project included the following:

  • Two-session Workshop organised in conjunction with the XVII World Congress of the WFD
  • Ground research work conducted prior and after the Workshop.
  • Sharing session with Deaf Community in Dominican Republic

The Manual is a result of cooperation between the Finnish Associatin of the Deaf, the WFD, the Albanian National Association of the Deaf, and the Kosovar Association of the Deaf.

The web publication “Working Together – Manual for Sign Language Work within Development Cooperation” is a set of guidelines and examples of best practice on how to conduct Sign Language Work together with a Deaf Community. Sign language documentation and research is the starting point for the empowerment of the Deaf Community in Sign Language Work. This manual emphasises the importance of a community-based approach, where deaf signers are conducting the Sign Language Work in practice themselves.

You can find the manual here.

Funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the purpose of this project is to meet the pressing need of reducing inequality and overcoming causes of exclusion faced by the Deaf Communities in the following WFD country members:  Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The project aims to highlight human rights of deaf people in the said countries in all areas including the local disability plans and policies. The main goals of this project are:

  • To strengthen National Associations of the Deaf in the said countries
  • To increase awareness of the society on deaf issues and human rights
As the Ordinary Member of the WFD since 1979, Mongolian National Association of the Deaf had the opportunity to work very closely with WFD team on Human Right Project in 2015.

Cooperation with HRO 2 CRPD Parallel Reporting Project was more than satisfactory. WFD Human Right Officers showed very high level of technical knowledge and best role modeling to youth leaders in my country. Additionally, all the work was done with high quality and their attitude had always been very efficient and professional. In result of the project, together we showed “Nothing About Us Without Us” in national and international level.

We are continuing to cooperate with WFD, and are looking forward many years of doing successful development together.
Dulamsuren Jigjid
Vice President, Mongolian National Assocation of the Deaf

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