International Day of Sign Languages 2021
The International Day of Sign Languages is observed on 23 September every year. The UN General Assembly decided to commemorate the day as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf. It is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.
- International Day of Sign Language also acknowledges early access to sign language and various services in sign language like quality education which is vital to the development and growth of the deaf individual.
- The 2021 theme, declared by the World Federation of the Deaf, is “We Sign For Human Rights,” highlighting how each of us deaf and hearing people around the world — can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.
- The International Day of Sign Languages offers an opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all sign language users.
- The first International Day of Sign Language was observed across the world on 23 September 2018, with the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”
- The day was celebrated as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which will take place on 24-30 September.
- The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity
About sign language
- Sign languages are fully-fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from spoken languages.
- Sign language is a form of visual language that uses hand gestures and body language to convey meaning.
- Many examples of people using visual gestures to express themselves long before formal sign language have been established.