The World Federation of the Deaf is a team composed of our hardworking staff, our dedicated Board, our energetic Youth Section, and the efforts of dozens and dozens of volunteers and partner organizations around the world who support our work.
Our team has had a successful 2019, with many stunning accomplishments and exciting plans for the future!
We completed a successful XX General Assembly of the World Federation of the Deaf, with a new Board and new Strategy for 2020-2030.
We co-organised the successful XVIII World’s Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf with 2,536 participants from 137 countries!
We delivered statements and submissions to the UN and other human rights bodies, including the UN Minorities Forum, the CRPD Committee, the World Hearing Forum at the World Health Organization.
We provided support letters to our National Association of Deaf country members in their local advocacy work.
We delivered a human rights training to seven Ordinary Members from southern and Eastern Africa.
We launched a deaf-focused pre-Bridge training for deaf people from eight different countries in cooperation with the International Disability Alliance.
We provided on-site workshops to 18 Ordinary Members, including 12 from Africa.
We cooperated with Discovering Deaf Worlds on their Social Inclusion of the Deaf project in the Dominican Republic.
We worked with new partners, including the Amity Foundation and Minority Rights Group International, to advance our human rights in collaboration.
We organised a successful International Week of the Deaf 2019 campaign, Sign Language Rights for All!
We accredited International Sign Interpreters to ensure quality interpretation at the international level.
We co-organised fruitful Board Meetings in France and Georgia
Together, we have made history!
With a new President, a new Vice President and eight of nine board members entering the WFD for the first time, we have our biggest transformation in 60 years!
We have exciting plans for 2020!
The theme for the 2020 International Week of Deaf People is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights.” We have a special theme for the 2020 International Day of Sign Language (IDSL): “Sign Languages Are for Everyone!”
And as part of this theme, we are launching a Global Leader’s Challenge! We want you to challenge your national leaders- Presidents, Prime Ministers, members of Parlaments, and local and regional leaders such as Governors and Mayors- to sign the 2020 IDSL theme in your national sign language!
Together, we can raise the profile of our many national sign languages!
The WFD will release more information about the Global Leader’s Challenge! in 2020!
Our team- with your support- can achieve much in 2020!
Please show your support for deaf people’s human rights by supporting your national deaf associations, joining the WFD as an individual member, and supporting our work with an ongoing donation to the WFD!
Your support allows all the work that the WFD is doing to continue to reach and influence as many legal systems across the world as possible so that they will change their legislations to include sign language and deaf people.
With warmest wishes for a Happy New Year and a successful 2020! We will achieve great things, together!
Joseph J. Murray
World Federation of the Deaf
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