World Deaf Day is observed every year on the last Sunday of Sunday and this year it falls on September 27. The 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”. The day is dedicated to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) that was established in September 1951, in Rome, Italy which originally initiated the International Day of the Deaf in 1958. The day is special and is dedicated to spreading awareness about the deaf and their contribution to society. WFD is recognised by the United Nations (UN) it looks after protecting the human rights of Deaf people.

World Deaf Day History and Significance

Deafness or hearing loss is a huge issue that a large number of our population has to bear. The day is dedicated to protecting the human rights of these people who experience hearing loss. The history of World Deaf Day is associated with Granville Richard Seymour Redmond who was born on March 9, 1871, to a hearing family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was when he was two and a half- three years, he contracted Scarlet Fever and was found to be deaf after recovery. He attended the Berkeley School for the Deaf and went on to become an excellent painter in his life. The potential of deaf people is often undermined and this day helps spread awareness and destigmatise the issue.

There can be many causes of hearing loss. Right from exposure to loud noise to ageing, Head trauma, a virus or disease, autoimmune inner ear disease, heredity, malformation of the inner ear or Ménière's disease. What 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.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 27, 2020 07:20 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website