International Day

International Day of Sign Languages 2024: History, Themes, Facts, Celebration

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed September 23 as International Day of Sign Languages to increase awareness of the importance of sign language in fully realizing the human rights of the deaf. The first International Sign Language Day was observed in 2018. The resolution establishing this day recognizes that early access to sign language and sign language services, including high-quality education provided by sign language, is essential to the growth of the deaf. It recognizes the significance of protecting sign language as part of language and cultural variety. It also emphasizes the principle of “no us without us” in cooperation with the deaf community.

History of International Day of Sign Languages

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) proposed to commemorate the International Sign Language Day, and the United Nations General Assembly issued a commemorative declaration on December 19, 2017. WFD is an international organization composed of 135 national deaf associations. WFD represents approximately 72 million deaf people from all over the world. The World Federation of the Deaf was established on September 23, 1951. Therefore, September 23 was chosen as the International Sign Language Day.

Read more: International Sign Languages Day 2024: Quotes, Wishes, Messages

Themes of International Day of Sign Languages

  • The theme in 2021 is – “We Sign for Human Rights”
  • The theme in 2020 is – “Sign Languages are for Everyone”
  • The theme in 2019 is – “Sign Languages Rights for All”
  • The theme in 2018 is – “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included”

How to celebrate International Sign Language Day

Learn sign language

Learning sign language is one of the best ways to commemorate this day! There are several excellent online resources that can help you solve this problem. Learning to welcome someone with sign language can have a huge impact. Just think about how wonderful you will make them feel as long as you spare no effort to learn their language and greet them in a way they can understand.

Join the creative consciousness

Raising awareness is another way to commemorate International Sign Language Day! Many people do not know many sign languages. They also don’t know how many people in the world rely on sign language. On this day, I assume the responsibility of educating others.

Organize fundraising events

There are many ways to participate, from baking sales to sponsoring competitions. Activities are an excellent way to raise funds and also spread information about sign language. You should also use social media to arouse interest in your planned activities.

5 shocking facts about sign language

Adults In The UK Use British Sign Language

More than 125,000 adults in the UK use British Sign Language, and many more know how to communicate with it-British Sign Language is the main language of 15,000 people in England and Wales.

Different countries have their own versions

Although both the United Kingdom and the United States speak English, their sign languages are quite different-regional differences in sign language can also be found, similar to how accents and dialects are expressed in speech.

It doesn’t just use gestures

In addition to “sign language”, British sign language also uses facial expressions, gestures, and body language to communicate-sign language has its own grammatical system, and its sentence patterns are completely different from spoken English.

Deaf people have “name signs”

Many people who communicate in sign language use a single symbol to represent their name, rather than checking out individual letters-this “name symbol” is a personal mark of an individual, similar to a nickname.

Easy to Learn

Sign language seems to be a difficult way of communication, but it is used by so many people all over the world for a reason: if you have the right teacher and teach it the right way, learning it is very simple.

Sign Language English Alphabet
Sign Language English Alphabet

Why do we like sign language?

Very important for deaf people

Of course, we cannot ignore the most obvious reason why sign language is great. Many deaf and hearing-impaired people rely heavily on sign language as a means of communication. Sign language is the mother tongue of the deaf, and they provide a complete communication channel. Although sign language is mainly used by deaf people, it is also used by others who can hear but cannot speak.

More expressive

Sign language includes the movement of a person’s arms, body, and facial expressions, as well as the movement of their hands. In sign language, facial expressions can convey emotional and grammatical information. For example, raising and lowering the eyebrows can change the syntax of a sentence from a declarative sentence to a question sentence.

Listen with eyes

People who are fluent in sign language are usually better listeners. When using sign language, you must maintain consistent eye contact with the person you are communicating with. Unlike spoken language, sign language does not allow a person to move away from the speaker while listening. This is a very advantageous habit for both spoken and sign language. Maintaining eye contact when speaking shows that one person is really interested in what the other person is saying.

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