International Week of the Deaf 2015

The International Week of the Deaf, observed annually during the last full week in September, will be celebrated from 21 till 27 September 2015. This Day aims to draw the attention of governments, authorities and the general public to the accomplishments of deaf people and the concerns of the deaf community.

With Sign Language Rights, Our Children Can!

This year the theme of the IWD 2015 is ‘With Sign Language Rights, Our Children Can!

CBM believes that it is of utmost importance for deaf children to be able to use sign language at an early age and in all areas of life. Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) defines sign languages as equal to spoken languages. Sign language must be seen as a valid linguistic means of conveying thoughts, ideas and emotions. CBM calls for sign language to be made available to deaf persons as a birth right. 


What is CBM doing to support Sign Language as a Right?

CBM employs deaf employees:

A number of CBM offices employ deaf people. Each employee’s communication needs are met according to individual need. Sign Language interpretation is provided both in the office as well as during travel commitments according to individual need. Further support is provided through close captioning as an additional / alternative communication support.
CBM also encourages internships from deaf graduates as appropriate to the work available and skills of the individual.
Deaf employees act as role models and guide the organisation in related matters, for example position papers and in promoting an inclusive approach to disability. Some are members of Advisory Working Groups.

CBM and partners:

Our partner organisations are also involved insupporting Sign Language Rights in various ways:

  • Promotion of a communication approach according to individual needs, this could mean access to amplification as well as sign language.
  • Provision of sign language classes and classes in deaf culture
  • Training for specialist teachers in the education of learners who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind.
  • Sign language development
  • Publication of sign language books and digital media
  • Supports schools for the deaf as part of a pathway to inclusion
  • Inclusive education with an emphasis on promoting communication in sign language.
  • Supports the promotion of sign language interpreter training
  • Supports the participation of deaf people in global conferences and events

CBM partner in Pakistan

On the occasion of the International Week of the Deaf 2015 we speak with Muhammad Akram, founder and president of a CBM partner in Pakistan - Danishkadah. Read his interview to know more about sign language rights and deaf culture in Pakistan.


Sian Tesni, senior education advisor at CBM, blogs on why Sign Language Rights are integral for an inclusive society and what governments should do to ensure these rights are upheld.

More reading

Empowering deaf persons in Pakistan

On the occasion of the International Week of the Deaf 2015, we speak with Muhammad Akram, the Founder & President of our partner in Pakistan

International Week of the Deaf 2014

This International Week of the Deaf we are featuring deaf staff within the CBM family, and at our partner organisations in Cambodia and Gaza