Who We Are

Our mission, our values, our people

The World Federation of the Deaf is a global organisation working to ensure equal rights for 70 million people around the globe.


The World Federation of the Deaf is an international non-profit and non-governmental organisation of deaf associations from 133 countries. In addition to this, its membership includes Associate Members, International Members and Individual Members as well as two categories of Youth Members. The WFD has 8 Regional Secretariats and one Co-operating Member. Its legal seat is in Helsinki, Finland where the WFD Secretariat operates.

The WFD has a consultative status in the United Nations and is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). We promote the human rights of deaf people in accordance with the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other Human Rights Treaties.

As the representative body, the WFD works to ensure deaf people across the globe are equipped with the knowledge, tools and strategies to advocate for, achieve and defend their rights including:

Gaining recognition and respect for their own sign languages and cultures

Maintaining their organisations and activities

Achieving their rights across all areas of life, including equal opportunity and accessibility