International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and it was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. Since then, it is celebrated annually by the global deaf community. The International Week of the Deaf is held on the last week of September, the same month first World Congress of the WFD was held.
International Week of the Deaf is commemorated through various activities (marches, debates, campaigns, exhibitions and meetings), and call for the participation and involvement of stakeholders (families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, Disabled Peopleís Organisations).
International Week of the Deaf is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the deaf community at individual, community and governmental level. It is about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.
International Week of the Deaf strives to promote the rights of deaf people and highlight specific human rights topics that merit attention.
International Week of the Deaf is aimed to spread message as widely as possible by ensuring that the campaign(s) will be noticed and the message will also pass to wider society through sufficient media coverage.
In 2023 International Week of the Deaf in USA falls on September 18.