26 September – International Day of Sign Languages


International Day of Sign Languages was established in honour of the creation of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1951, which is one of the oldest international organizations that defend the rights of people with disabilities. Nowadays, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) unites 133 national associations of all five continents.

The World Federation of the Deaf is one of the leading world organizations dealing with the solution to the problem of equalization of deaf and hearing people.

According to WHO, more than 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people (328 million adults and 32 million children), suffer from hearing loss (hearing loss in the better hearing ear exceeding 40 dB in adults and 30 dB in children). Most of these people live in low- and middle-income countries.

About one in three people over the age of 65 suffers from hearing loss. The highest prevalence in this age group is found in South Asia, Pacific Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. It can develop in one or both ears and can lead to difficulty hearing spoken language or loud sounds.

Hearing loss refers to people with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. They usually communicate using spoken language and may use hearing aids, cochlear implants (a prosthesis allowing to compensate for hearing loss) and other assistive devices, as well as subtitling, to improve their hearing.

Deaf people generally suffer from profound hearing loss in which they hear very little or no hearing. Often these people use sign language to communicate.

The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic calls on citizens to show care and support for people suffering from this affliction. After all, only common efforts can contribute to improving the people’s living standard with various forms of deafness.