International Day of Sign Languages 2021

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International Day of Sign Languages 2021

  • UN General Assembly declared 23 September as International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) on 19 December 2017.
  • Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages.
  • There is also an international sign language, which is used by deaf people in international meetings and informally when travelling and socializing.

Deafness and Use of Sign language

  • According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide.
  • More than 80% of them live in developing countries.
  • Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes and promotes the use of sign languages.
  • It makes clear that sign languages are equal in status to spoken languages and obligates states parties to facilitate the learning of sign language and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community.

Theme for 2021

  • The theme for 2021 is “We Sign For Human Rights”.
  • It highlights how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.