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How to participate in Deaf Awareness Month 2019!

deaf awareness month 2019
September is International Deaf Awareness Month, and the last week of the month is “International Week of the Deaf” (IWDeaf).

This year, that week falls on Sept. 20 – 29, 2019. During this week, organizations all over the world host events to promote positive aspects of deafness, encourage social inclusion, and raise awareness of those organizations that support the deaf. Here is what you need to know about Deaf Awareness Month 2019.

International Day of Sign Languages

This week this year, though, marks something special in history. The United National General Assembly has adopted International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL). It will be recognized and celebrated each year on September 23rd starting this year (2019)! The purpose of IDSL is to promote sign language awareness and invigorate the status of sign languages.

The World Federation of the Deaf assigns a theme to IWDeaf each year. Last year, the theme was “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included”. This year’s theme will be “Sign Language Rights for All!”  Also new this year is a sub-theme for each day of the week created by the WFD Board. With IDSL falling on the first day of the week, Monday, Sept. 23, the day with have the main theme of “Sign Language Rights for All!”. The dates and their respective themes are:

  1. Monday, Sept. 23 Sign Language Rights for All!
  2. Tuesday,  Sept. 24 Sign Language Rights for All Children
  3. Wednesday, Sept. 25 Sign Language Rights for Deaf Senior Citizens
  4. Thursday, Sept. 26 Sign Language Rights for Deafblind people
  5. Friday, Sept. 27 Sign Language Rights for Deaf Women
  6. Saturday, Sept. 28 Sign Language Rights for Deaf LGBTIQA+
  7. Sunday, Sept. 29 Sign Language Rights for Deaf Refugees

For more information on each individual day and their associated social media challenges, check out the World Federation of the Deaf official page.

What you can do this for Deaf Awareness Month 2019

In terms of what you can do to influence deaf awareness (don’t forget, this can be done beyond the month of September!), take a look at these suggestions:

  • Teach and learn sign language
  • Reach out to companies and governments to encourage them to fulfill their legal obligations to the deaf population
  • Encourage, advocate and promote deaf people as one-of-a-kind
  • Support Deaf businesses
  • Emphasize the importance of sign language as a key part of human rights for deaf people

You can also attend an event promoting deaf awareness. Here’s just a few that are being held in different parts of the US:

What are you doing to celebrate Deaf Awareness Month 2019 and/or Deaf Awareness Week?

Author Details
Ashley is a 29-year-old who loves to travel and try new things. She has bi-lateral, severe hearing loss, and wears a Phonak Naída V-SP hearing aid in one ear and has an Esteem implant in the other. She plays soccer for the USA Women’s National Deaf Team. She’s currently traveling the world in pursuit of adventure and perspective while also learning about the deaf and hard of hearing communities in various countries. Her travels can be followed on instagram @ashley5chanel or on her blog deaftattooedandemployed.com.