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International Week of the Deaf

This week is International Week of the Deaf!

International Week of the Deaf takes place around the world in the last week of September every year. During this week, organizations around the world host events to celebrate how people who are deaf contribute to their communities. Moreover, the week also raises awareness about the rights of people who are deaf. In 2020, International Week of the Deaf takes place from Monday, September 21st until Sunday, September 27th.

International Week of the Deaf

Many people around the world may not have family members, friends, or colleagues who are deaf. As a result, they may assume that someone who is deaf cannot do every-day things, such as:

  • Work
  • Raise families
  • Make friends and have fulfilling social lives
  • Travel

Furthermore, people may feel uncomfortable when someone discloses that they are deaf. This lack of knowledge may lead to discrimination. For instance, someone may not want to hire a person who is deaf. International Week of the Deaf is a chance to help the public learn more about the ways people who are deaf contribute actively to their families, communities, and workplaces. Moreover, the week raises awareness about the human rights that people who are deaf have, and how these rights support their access to information and communication.

Communication Supports

People who are deaf use many communication supports to access audio information. They also use these supports to interact with hearing loved ones, colleagues or teachers, and other members of their communities. For instance, some of these supports are:

  • Sign Language (with interpretation for communicating with non-signers)
  • Video Relay Service (VRS)
  • Teletypewriter (TTY) technology
  • Writing, emailing, or texting
  • Speechreading
  • Real-Time Captioning (RTC) for live events
  • Closed captioning (for TV or movies)
  • Computerized Note-Taking

International Week of the Deaf is a chance for the hearing public to learn more about how people use these communication supports in every-day life. For example, under the AODA, people have the right to access these supports:

Finally, people use communication supports when they volunteer, enjoy leisure activities, and socialize with friends and family. When people have access to the supports they need, they can contribute fully to their families, communities, and workplaces.

Happy International Week of the Deaf to all our readers!