September 23, International Day of Sign Languages

September 23, International Day of Sign Languages

The International Day of Sign Languages falls on 23 September every year, and is part of the International Week of the Deaf - in English International Week of Deaf People (IWDP) – started on 20 September.

This year, the official name of the celebratory week has undergone a slight change: the addition of the word "People" - initially not present - in fact underlines how much we want to highlight elements of uniqueness and wholeness of the deaf community. The cultural identity of deaf people should not be understood detached as an element in itself, but rather as an integral part of society of which it belongs.

Deaf people use their own language to communicate. Every language, every language and every means of communication must be protected and celebrated. Beyond the languages spoken, in the multilingual sign languages are also celebrated. The only possible way to be able to communicate with deaf people.

The International Week of the Deaf therefore proposes itself as a moment of celebration and fight against deafnessof sign language as a communication tool for the deaf community. To this fight for rights and vindication for a more equal, just and respectful society, national institutions and international organizations join together with the entire deaf communities present all over the world.

The leitmotif of the whole IWDP And "celebrate the vitality of the deaf community”. A series of appointments and events accompany and articulate the entire week of festivities and celebrations. Each day has its own sub-theme.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, they exist in the world more than 70 million deaf people, of which more than 80% live in developed countries.

Sign languages are essential for allow linear and inclusive communication in international business events, but also social and cultural ones. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities officially considers sign language as well as spoken languages, and is constantly committed to making public opinion and institutions aware of the promotion of the cultural and linguistic identity of the deaf community and of the teaching of sign languages.

The International Day of Sign Languages was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly and fixed on the date of 23 September.

The entire initiative aims to make everyone aware of the vital importance that sign language and sign language interpreting services have for the deaf community and for society as a whole. Safeguarding the cultural and linguistic identity of sign languages implies recognizing their role in terms of multilingualism and diversity.

Last May 19, the role of sign language interpreters this year it obtained an official national recognition in Italy, after years and years of struggle. It was one of the small steps forward that the entire European and national community is taking towards deaf communities and the actors who can guarantee communication with them.

One of the main Italian national television networks he also organized a series of testifying appointments total accessibility to the services offered on a national level. In fact, for example, 5 operas, fiction and programs dedicated to insights and interviews will be broadcast, also fully translated into Italian Sign Language (LIS) and accompanied by subtitles and audio description.

The International Day of Sign Languages is just an occasion to remind ourselves to enhance diversity, promote culture and information, guarantee the accessibility of services and products to all as a fundamental right for the development of every society.

International Congresses Press Office

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