Discover the history and significance of National Deaf Month, and learn more about other important recognition dates. Click here to read more!
Did you know that September is Deaf Awareness Month in the United States?
Deaf Awareness Month is a month-long celebration dedicated to increasing public awareness of deaf culture and deaf issues as well as recognizing the heritage and language unique to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
We, for one, believe that this is a wonderful way for the deaf community to promote greater awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by the deaf community in accessing communication. Inclusion is important.
Join us to discover how this celebration of our community began and in what ways we can celebrate together locally, nationally, and internationally.
The first International Day of the Deaf was celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf in 1958. It used to be just a single day, before being later extended to a full week, becoming the International Week of the Deaf, observed annually throughout the last full week of September (to commemorate the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, which took place in September of 1951).
This is not to be confused with Deaf History Month that happens in April every year. Deaf History Month is centered around celebrating the history of deaf culture and the many achievements made by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is celebrated in April to mark two significant dates in deaf education history:
Unlike the world day of the deaf and the national audiology awareness month, during Deaf Awareness Month, the emphasis is on educating people about deaf culture and language.
For instance, did you know that there is no one universally accepted sign language?
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are over 200 sign languages being used daily around the world. Many countries have their own system for signing outside of American Sign Language. Take for instance Martha’s Vineyard, which had a large mixed population of deaf and hearing people living on the island during the 17th to mid-20th century. In certain towns on the island, nearly everyone used sign language, and deafness was accepted as a regular part of daily life.
This list is designed to empower community members to raise awareness about the diversity of the deaf and hard of hearing community through fun activities outside or inside your own home.
Celebrating National Deaf Awareness Month is a great way to create a Deaf CAN attitude and break down barriers and preconceived notions of the deaf and hard of hearing in society.
We hope this blog post inspires you to explore different facets of deaf culture, deaf history, and the deaf and hard of hearing community with your network, not only during September, but year round 🙂