The world marks, tomorrow, the International Day of Sign Language 2019 under the slogan 'Sign Language Rights for All', which aims to recognize the decision that sets out the day of early access to sign language and sign language services, including quality education available in sign language. And that it is vital to the growth and development of deaf, in addition its importance for achieving the internationally agreed development goals.
It also recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic and cultural diversity. It also emphasizes the principle of “nothing about us without us” in working with deaf communities.
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are about 72 million deaf persons worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.
The World Federation of the Deaf, a consortium of 135 national deaf associations (representing a total of 70 million deaf in the world), have submitted a proposal to celebrate International Sign Language Day.
The Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations adopted decision 161/72 in partnership with 97 Member States, and was adopted by consensus on 19 December 2017.
The date of September 23 was chosen as the date of the establishment of the World Federation of the Deaf in 1951.
This day marks the birth of an advocacy organization, and one of its most important goals is to preserve sign languages and deaf culture as prerequisites for the full realization of the human rights of the deaf.
The International Day of Sign Language was celebrated for the first time on September23,2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which take place during the period September 24 -30,2019.
The first International Week of the Deaf was celebrated in September 1958, and then evolved into a global movement intended to unite the deaf community with focused awareness on raising awareness of they issues and the daily challenges they face.
UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres noted that sign languages are an important means for a person to express himself, communicate with others and participate in all aspects of the economic, social, cultural and political spheres.
Its usage is also essential to ensure access to information and services, including during emergencies, and the realization of the human rights of more than 70 million Deaf people worldwide.
Early and inclusive education of sign language is essential for their full and effective participation, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“On this International Sign Language Day, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing the rights of deaf people everywhere,” Guterres said.