The International Day of Sign Language, observed on the 23rd of September each year, serves as a global platform to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, with a special focus on the Deaf communities worldwide. This day is a celebration of the rich tapestry of sign languages and their significance in fostering inclusivity and understanding. Let’s delve into the details of this important observance.
This topic of “World Sign Language Day 2023” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.
Sign Languages: Complex Visual-Gestural Communication Systems
Sign languages are complex visual-gestural communication systems used by Deaf communities to convey meaning and express themselves. These languages possess their own unique grammar and syntax, making them distinct and fully functional means of communication. The International Day of Sign Language recognizes the importance of preserving and celebrating this linguistic heritage.
Theme: “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere!”
The theme for the International Day of Sign Language encapsulates the aspirations of Deaf individuals globally. It envisions a world where Deaf people have the freedom and opportunity to use sign language everywhere, breaking down communication barriers and fostering a more inclusive society.
Historical Significance and Resolution
UN Resolution A/RES/72/161
The International Day of Sign Language owes its official recognition to United Nations Resolution A/RES/72/161. This resolution was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and garnered support from 97 other UN Member States. It was adopted on December 19, 2017, marking a significant milestone in the recognition of sign languages and the Deaf community’s rights.
Honoring the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
The choice of September 23rd for observing this day is not arbitrary; it pays homage to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). Established in 1951, the WFD is a federation comprising 135 national federations of the Deaf. This organization has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights and well-being of Deaf individuals worldwide, working tirelessly to ensure their inclusion and empowerment.