World Deaf Day Graphic

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World Day of the Deaf is coming up soon! Celebrated every last Sunday of September, this year the Day falls on September 25th. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the holiday and its aims.

Why Is This Day Celebrated?

Globally, over 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss. The celebration of World Deaf Day is a recognition of those people’s rights and an appeal to various organisations to take action to support them.

People come together on this day to raise awareness about the many challenges that the hard of hearing face; challenges that affect every aspect of their lives: from their mental health to their ability to work and socialise. Thanks to this holiday, many have become passionate about promoting the rights of deaf people and helping them live full, happy lives.

Deaf person demonstrating sign language

World Deaf Day also highlights the importance of hearing loss prevention. It is expected that by 2050, 2.5 billion people worldwide (1 in 4 people) will be living with hearing loss. This is why the holiday advocates for access to timely and adequate hearing care.

Who Started World Deaf Day?

The holiday was first started in 1958 by the World Federation of the Deaf as a follow-up to the First World Congress of the Federation that took place in Italy during 1951.

The creation of the holiday triggered a reaction for deaf awareness since the following year the World Federation of the Deaf received consultative status, becoming officially recognized by the United Nations and World Health Organization.

And finally, very recently (in 2018, to be precise), the International Day of Sign Languages also became recognized, marked during the last week of September, along with World Deaf Day.

International Day of Sign Languages Graphic

How Can You Observe This Holiday?

There are many ways in which you can observe World Day of the Deaf, some of which include:

Promote Deaf People’s Rights

Deaf rights are human rights, and they need and deserve to be promoted and advanced. In order for those suffering from hearing loss to live equally to those with normal hearing, they must have access to timely and adequate hearing care, to early sign language exposure, to education fitting their needs, and to equal employment opportunities.

Human rights graphic

Support Organisations That Help the Deaf

Donating to organisations designed to help the deaf and hard of hearing is another way in which you can observe World Deaf Day. The RNID, for example, provide free confidential and impartial information and support to all individuals in the UK who are deaf, or suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus. Additionally, they aim to facilitate a society which is inclusive to all, help people hear better, and fund important research related to hearing loss.

Take Active Prevention Measures

World Deaf Day is also about prevention. According to the World Health Organization, 50% of hearing loss can be prevented through public health measures. You can take active steps to prevent hearing loss by turning down the volume of the TV, radio, or music, using hearing protection when avoiding loud sounds is not possible, and attending regular hearing tests in order to detect hearing loss as soon as it occurs (if it does occur).

Doctor performing hearing test

These are some examples of how the holiday can be observed, but truly, there is no right or wrong way to celebrate it as every effort counts, regardless of what form it comes in.

World Deaf Day brings together people from all over the world- both deaf and hearing. It highlights unique and fascinating aspects of Deaf culture and helps those with normal hearing empathize with people on the deafness spectrum, bridging the two groups together and facilitating a more diverse, inclusive society that provides equal opportunities for everyone.

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