International Week of the Deaf
International Week of the Deaf is celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and its national associations and their affiliates globally during the last full week of September (Monday through Sunday), culminating with International Day of the Deaf on the last Sunday of the week.
The WFD is an international organization composed of 130 national associations of the deaf that, in collaboration with the United Nations, serves all countries with focus on improving human rights of deaf persons, the status of national sign languages, access to education, and access to information technology and services. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) represents the United States as an affiliate member of the WFD.
The WFD today encourages its national associations and their affiliates to celebrate International Week of the Deaf by focusing on the theme of Human Rights through Sign Languages. This focus gives greater attention to deaf culture and the achievements of deaf people, portrayed in a positive way. This focus also increases solidarity among deaf people and their supporters, and provides an opportunity to stimulate greater efforts to promote the rights of deaf people throughout the world.
In the United States, celebration of International Week of the Deaf is held throughout the year, not only during the last full week of September. For instance, the NAD took part in the Midwest DeaFest, jointly hosted in August 2009 by four state associations of the deaf. Affiliate organizations