International Day of Sign Languages 2020: All You Need to Know

International Day of Sign Languages 2020: All You Need to Know

International Day of Sign Languages is annually observed on September 23 around the globe. The day is aimed at raising awareness about the significance of sign language in complete comprehension of the people who are hearing or speaking impairment. The event gives a chance to protect the semantic identity and cultural diversity of those using sign language.

It is also significant in acknowledging early access to sign language and critical to the accomplishment of the internationally agreed development goals. The celebration of this day is vital to the development of deaf individuals. The day is important to understand that out of those in need of sign language, just 2 per cent have access to this education across the world. Therefore, recognising human rights and promoting sign language rights all over the world is a part of the day’s significance.

The UN General Assembly declared the first International Day of Sign Languages on September 23, 2018. As part of the International Week of the Deaf, September 24-30, the day was marked in commemoration of the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” The International Week of the Deaf was observed as early as 1958 and has since picked up global participation and unity. The theme for International Day of Sign languages 2020 is "Sign Languages Are for Everyone!"

Sign languages are well-developed natural languages, architecturally discrete from the verbal languages. It is a form of chromatic language that requires the hand gesture as well as body language to communicate. International sign language is also used in formal and informal international meetings for those hard of hearing. The International Day of Sign Languages is a time to recognize the culture, language, and heritage of the deaf community.

Usually the celebrations include themed exhibits in schools and institutes. Additionally, cultural activities and deaf festivals are held in conjunction with sporting events. However, this year owing to the pandemic crisis, the range of demonstration could happen virtually.

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a coalition of 135 national associations of deaf people, representative of nearly 70 million deaf people’s rights worldwide proposed the day.