New Delhi: The UN General Assembly declared September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages, in order to increase public awareness of the value of sign language in the full realisation of deaf people’s human rights.
International Day Of Sign Languages 2022: A brief history
The concept for the International Day of Sign Language was ideated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), which is a collaboration of 135 national deaf groups that collectively represent more than 70 million deaf people worldwide. When the WFD was founded, back in 1951, September 23 was chosen to honour this day.
The commemoration of this day first took place in 2018 as a part of the first International Week of the Deaf. The inaugural International Week of the Deaf was observed in September 1958, and since then, it has grown into an international movement of deaf unity and concentrated lobbying to bring attention to the problems that deaf people deal with on a daily basis.
International Day Of Sign Languages 2022: Significance
The International Day of Sign Languages offers a special chance to support and preserve the cultural diversity and linguistic uniqueness of all sign language users, including deaf individuals. Together, deaf communities, governments, and civil society organisations continue to create, promote, and acknowledge national sign languages as essential components of the dynamic and varied linguistic landscapes of their respective nations.
The structural differences between sign languages and spoken languages make them fully developed natural languages. Additionally, deaf people communicate informally with one another by using international sign language when they are out and socialising.
In contemporary times, learning sign language is highly encouraged as it promotes greater sensitivity and knowledge of the deaf and hard of hearing people. As someone who is skilled in this language, they will get a deep understanding of the deaf culture and be able to prompt others to understand and respect the language.
International Day Of Sign Languages 2022: Theme
The theme for this year’s International Day of Sign Languages according to the UN General Assembly, is ‘Sign Languages Unite Us’. The world will once more draw attention to the harmony that it creates. This celebration arises from the 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/72/16.
The theme of the 2022 International Week of Deaf People, on the other hand, is ‘Building Inclusive Communities for All’.