World Deaf Day is observed “to create awareness among the public to show how much the deaf could contribute to society and the country’s economic growth” on 28th September, every year. World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established in September 1951, in Rome, Italy. It is an international organization which initiated International Day of the Deaf in 1958. WFD is recognised by the United Nations (UN) and works closely with its agencies in promoting the human rights of Deaf people in accordance with the principles and objectives of the UN Charter.
History/In memory of
Granville Richard Seymour Redmond was born on March 9, 1871 to a hearing family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When about two and a half- three years of age he contracted Scarlet Fever and was found to be deaf after recovery. His family moved from the East Coast to San Jose, California where Granville attended the Berkeley School for the Deaf.
He learned drawing, painting and Pantomime (a type of musical comedy stage production). His artistic talents received considerable encouragement and he graduated as a painter in the renowned California School of Design in San Francisco. By 1905, he was recognised as a landscape painter and bold colourist.
A deaf person has immense potentiality; similar to a normal person and the World Deaf Day is commemorated for this very reason.
The purpose of Deaf Day
The purpose of International Day of the Deaf which has now been extended to a “week” is to promote better and healthy life, respectability, self esteem, education and work for the deaf.
It also aims at drawing attention of the general public and concerned authorities to the concerns and issues as well as achievements and accomplishments of the Deaf. The work of the Deaf is publicised and their demands and requests are brought forth.
Many deaf organizations, schools, colleges, and universities hold activities and conduct public information campaigns to educate people about deafness. Events are organised to create awareness among the public about the root causes of deafness and vocational options available for the hearing impaired.
Problem of Communication
Although Sign language has been around for millions of years now, it still remains the biggest challenge faced by the hearing impaired - to communicate among themselves and the normal fellow beings. Learning and teaching of sign language should be an essential so that one can attain better understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing, their culture and heritage.
Promote International Week of the Deaf
• We must realise that Deaf Day is not a day to merely extend our sympathies to the deaf but to see it as an opportunity to make a ‘difference’ in their lives.
• Deafness is not a handicap or disability. Hard of hearing individuals are just as capable and intelligent as hearing individuals. The only difference is in the ‘means of communication’
• We can host a fun and informative function/ awareness programme in our area. Spread news and circulate details about the event through social media links/ local media and eye catching posters.
• Help impart knowledge about deaf people. Offer or arrange for workshops and lessons on sign language and motivate the general public to learn sign language.
• Offer opportunities to the deaf, through the use of technology, to change and better their lifestyle.
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