International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and it was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. Since then, it is celebrated annually by the global deaf community. The International Week of the Deaf is held on the last week of September, the same month first World Congress of the WFD was held.
International Week of the Deaf is commemorated through various activities (marches, debates, campaigns, exhibitions and meetings), and call for the participation and involvement of stakeholders (families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, Disabled People’s Organisations).

WHY IS IWD IMPORTANT?

International Week of the Deaf is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the deaf community at individual, community and governmental level. It is about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.
International Week of the Deaf strives to promote the rights of deaf people and highlight specific human rights topics that merit attention.
International Week of the Deaf is aimed to spread message as widely as possible by ensuring that the campaign(s) will be noticed and the message will also pass to wider society through sufficient media coverage.

PAST THEMES

  • 2009 Deaf People’s Cultural Achievements
  • 2010 Deaf Education
  • 2011 Accessibility to Information and Communications
  • 2012 Sign Bilingualism is a Human Right!
  • 2013 Equality for Deaf People
  • 2014 Strengthening Human Diversity