The International Day of Sign Languages is observed on September 23 every year. The UN General Assembly decided to commemorate the day as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf. International Day of Sign Language also acknowledges early access to sign language and various services in sign language like quality education which is vital to the development and growth of the deaf individual.
The celebration of this day is vital to the growth and development of deaf individuals and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. The International Day of Sign Languages offers an opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all sign language users.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme for 2020 International Day of Sign languages is “Sign Languages Are for Everyone!”
International Day of Sign Languages: History
The first International Day of Sign Language was observed across the world on September 23, 2018, with the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” The day was celebrated as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which will take place on 24-30 September. The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) intending to raise awareness of the significance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.ADVERTISEMENT
The first International Day of Sign Languages was celebrated on September 23, 2018, as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which will take place on 24-30 September.
About Sign Language:
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 traveling and socializing.
Sign language is a form of visual language that uses hand gestures and body language to convey meaning. Many examples of people using visual gestures to express themselves long before a formal sign language have been established.
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.