Every year International Week of the Deaf brings together organisations around the world with a shared interest in raising awareness of deaf people. It’s a great opportunity for organisations to coordinate their efforts and speak up about the challenges and issues facing deaf people around the world. It also presents the chance to celebrate the achievements and successes of deaf children and young people.
Our international arm, Deaf Child Worldwide have been working closely with partner organisations in South Asia, East Africa and Latin America in planning a range of events, activities and campaigns throughout the week to make this the biggest deaf awareness week to date.
Cultural activities planned throughout the week include sign language and drawing competitions and football tournaments to integrate deaf and hearing peers and showcase talent. Rallies, marches, radio shows and speeches aim to raise awareness among wider communities.
In South Asia, our partner Centre for Disability and Development kicked off their programme of activities with a rally in Dhaka which saw over 100 people march from the Bangladesh National Federation of the Deaf office through the capital’s busiest streets ending at the National Press Club.
Our partner Deaf Empowerment Kenya (DEK) are facilitating a visit from UK MP’s Mark Williams, Chris Heaton-Harris, Mike Wood and Lorde Low of Dalston who are in Kenya to look at barriers to basic education for children and young people with disabilities, and the progress Kenya is making towards education for all. The delegates will spend an afternoon at a deaf unit in a primary school in Nairobi’s slum area meeting with children supported to achieve an education and parents accessing vital communication skills through sign language lessons.
In Latin America, a regional parent’s network made up of parents groups in four countries: Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, are launching their campaign, “Right to Communication and Sign Language.” Marlen, President of the Regional Parents group commented, “We are really excited to be launching this campaign during deaf awareness week. We will be going out to communities visiting schools, hospitals and police stations throughout the week distributing posters and information to raise awareness and highlight how we can work together to support the inclusion of deaf children in our communities.”
You can keep up to date with what’s happening throughout the week and help us to spread the word: