World Deaf Day falls on the last Sunday during September of every year all over the world. This day is held to create awareness among the public to show how much the deaf could contribute to society and the country’s economic growth. The biggest challenge faced by the hearing impaired is to communicating among themselves and their normal fellow beings. Sign language has been around for millions of years. Long before cave men learnt the power of words, actions were the medium used to communicate. Today, sign language is the most natural form of communication among the deaf and does not entail accurate knowledge of a spoken language. Using this and lip-reading many hearing impaired people are leading very voluble lives. Established in Rome, Italy, in 1951, WFD (World Federation of the Deaf) is an international non-governmental organisation representing approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide with a current membership of associations in 130 countries worldwide. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of these 70 million live in developing countries, where authorities are rarely familiar with their needs or desires. Recognised by the United Nations (UN) as their spokes-organisation, WFD works closely with the UN and its various agencies in promoting the human rights of Deaf people in accordance with the principles and objectives of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other general acts and recommendations of the UN and its specialised agencies. When necessary, WFD uses special, legal or administrative measures to ensure that Deaf people in every country have the right to preserve their own sign languages, organisations, and cultural and other activities. Most important among WFD priorities are Deaf people in developing countries; the right to sign language; and equal opportunity in all spheres of life, including access to education and information.
The celebration of the Day in Sweden started in the year 1958 after the decision of WFD in Rome, 1957. The decision means that the celebration of the Deaf Day will be held in the fourth week in September month in the world. In Sweden the celebration of the Deaf Day is usually being held in the middle of September every year. Before usually three places were arranged for the Deaf day in Sweden; northern Sweden, the Middle of Sweden and southern Sweden with the same theme, sometimes different themes in these places. But now it is often arranged at one place. The purpose with The Deaf Day is that the Deaf need to be seen in the community and understood as a group who have other language or as a minority language group. The Deaf Day is an important tool in this manner. The Deaf Day is also a social function for the Deaf. The last full week in September is also known as Deaf Awareness Week. It is also known as the International Week of the Deaf (or International Week of Deaf People). The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to draw attention to deaf people, their accomplishments and their issues.
Events include lectures, debates and culture events, performance and other shows. The Deaf Day often starts from Friday to Sunday. During this week, many deaf organizations hold activities to celebrate and conduct public information campaigns to educate people about deafness. Companies and agencies often mark the event, and schools, colleges, and universities hold awareness events. Amusement parks, such as Dollywood in Tennessee, may hold special deaf awareness days. Similar celebrations are held around the world.
Alternate Name - The International Deaf Day, International Day of Deaf people, Deaf Awareness Day