Wow! I’m on a roll, two posts within a few days! What’s up? Yeah, I’m a horrible Deaf person. No, honestly what happened was that I didn’t even connect that this month is a pretty important month for Deaf people. That would be Deaf Awareness Month (DAM). The month of September is DAM. Since September is DAM, I thought that I should go ahead and make a few videos related to being Deaf, the history of deaf people, and so on. I’m going to give you some information, history, facts about DAM, day, week, whatever.
International Week of the Deaf (IWD) tends to be the last week of September. This year, it’s September 19-25th. The 25th is on Sunday. Why’s that? That’s because the International Day of the Deaf is on the last Sunday of that month. Which is on the 25th this year. I’m going to give you some history of how this started. The first International Day of the Deaf was celebrated by WFD (World Federation of the Deaf), in 1958. I’ll explain a bit about WFD for those who don’t know. WFD is an international non-governmental organization (NGO), recognized by the UN to promote the rights of Deaf people internationally. There are over 130 national associations of the deaf represented under WFD. That’s a lot of associations! Why is International Week of the Deaf during the last week of September? September was when the first World Congress was hosted by WFD in 1951. That’s why it’s in the last week of September. Many countries will celebrate that same week, some will celebrate during a different week for whatever reason, but most celebrate during the last week of September.
WFD usually has a theme every year for that particular year of Deaf Awareness week. This year’s theme is: With sign language, I am equal. That’s the history of IWD, moving on. Why celebrate DAM? What’s the big point of this? The purpose of DAM is promoting awareness of Deaf people, their culture, history, and unique language. Also to promote the rights of Deaf people all over the world, including education, access to information and services, using sign language, and human rights in developing countries. It’s used to recognize the achievements of Deaf people as well, including famous people. For educating people about the misconceptions out there of Deaf people, and the challenges we face in our everyday lives. Teaching about the different types of being deaf, degrees of deafness, causes of being deaf. Expanding exposure to sign language, and different ways deaf people communicate with the world. Raising and promoting awareness about different kinds of programs, support services, and resources available to the Deaf community. Increasing better understanding of Deaf culture, and helping people understand that Deaf people are just as capable and intelligent as hearing people. The only difference being how we communicate. Also that many of us don’t view ourselves as handicapped or disabled. Just a different way of doing things.
So, I hope you enjoyed that first post for DAM. I do have a few other ideas I want to do, but if you have anything you want to see about the Deaf community, about sign language, about anything related to Deaf people, let me know! I’ll be glad to think about and figure out something! See you next time!