International Day of Sign Languages 2019 Date and Theme: Know History and Significance of IDSL Declared by United Nations
International Day of Sign Languages (Photo Credits: File Image)

The International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) is marked every year on September 23. The celebration of this day coincides with other significant celebration of International Week of the Deaf, which is marked in the last week of September every year. The objective of marking IDSL is to raise awareness of sign languages and also strengthen the usage. Ahead of International Day of Sign Languages 2019, we tell you a little more about the history and celebrations of this day. CBSE Introduces Sign Language ‘Braille’ As a Subject for Differently Abled Children.

The International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) is marked on September 23 because on this day in the year 1951, the World Federation of the Deaf was established. This organisation is an international NGO for deaf people and works to promote the Human Rights of Deaf people worldwide. This is just the second year of marking this day, as the UN General Assembly declared 23 September as International Day of Sign Languages in the year 2018. India's First Sign Language Dictionary Launched for Hearing and Speech Impaired People.

History and Significance

Sign languages are fully-fledged natural languages, yet different from the spoken language. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also promoted the use of sign language, and obligates state parties to facilitate the learning of sign language. It is a means of promoting the linguistic identity of the deaf community.

The proposal to mark this day came from the World Federation of the Deaf. They passed a resolution through the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN. It was co-sponsored by 97 United Nations Member States and adopted by consensus on 19 December 2017. The object of marking this day is to reach out and create more awareness about the sign language. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are about 72 million deaf people in the world and they collectively use 300 different sign languages.

Theme of ISDL 2019

This year's theme of IDSL 2019 is "Sign Language Rights for All." The theme corresponds to the International Week of the Deaf, which in itself has a specific theme for each day. Some of the sub-themes are Sign Language Rights for All Children, Sign Language Rights for Deaf Women, Sign Language Rights for Deaf Refugees etc.

Most of us must have seen the dumb and deaf conversing in the sign language and it is quite intriguing to see them. While we often just stare and try to analyse what they are talking, this day aims at more inclusion and awareness about the sign languages.