International Deaf Awareness Week 2022

This year’s International Week of Deaf People also called the International Day of Sign Languages is being celebrated across the world through different initiatives and activities that started from 19-25 September.

This year’s theme is Building Inclusive Communities for All. As well as Deaf people feeling connected to their Deaf community, they should also feel connected to wider society and those without a hearing impairment.

In Kenya, the sub-theme for the International Week of Deaf People is “Health for All”. Access to health services is a fundamental right, however, deaf people have continually faced barriers, first in access to health information and consequently getting the health services.

Deaf people have been left behind in accessing healthcare in their language (sign language). The government has a responsibility to provide sign language interpretation services in public health facilities to facilitate effective communication.

As we come together to recognise and celebrate the vibrant Deaf community, we need to show awareness for Deaf people within communities, it will help to better connect them to others, contributing to positive change and breaking down stereotypical barriers.

International Week of the Deaf is celebrated through various activities by the respective Deaf Communities worldwide. The activities call for participation and involvements of various stakeholders including families, peers, Governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters and Organisations of persons with disabilities.

This is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the Deaf Community on different levels. It is about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.

International Week of the Deaf strives to promote the human rights of deaf people through consistent, coordinated and widespread highlight of topics that merit attention.

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the WFD and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy.

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