Once Tarryn Fisher said, “Human eyes are the sign language of the brain. If you watch them carefully, you can see the truth played out, raw and unguarded”.
The International Day of Sign Languages supports and defends the linguistic identity of sign language users, including deaf people. The visual-manual modality is used by sign languages to communicate. Each year, the 23rd of September is recognized as the International Day of Sign Languages.
According to the United Nations (UN), sign languages are complete natural languages that are structurally different from spoken languages. The use of sign language is recognized and encouraged by the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. The convention makes it clear that they hold a status equal to that of spoken languages. States are also required to encourage the development of sign languages and deaf peoples’ linguistic identities. The importance of the International Day of Sign Languages is to increase public understanding about the value of sign languages.
The International Day of Sign Languages was first observed in 2018, as a part of the International Week of the Deaf, according to the UN. Adding in to that, according to the UN’s website, “The choice of 23rd September honours the date that the WFD was created in 1951.”
With regards to the information given by the World Federation of the Deaf, there are nearly 72 million deaf people all around the world. Together, these individuals employ more than 300 different sign languages. The fact that sign languages are natural languages in and of themselves is widely unknown. Despite the structural differences between them and spoken language, they should be given the same respect and importance. In addition, this international sign language is used by deaf people when socializing, traveling, and going to foreign conferences. Due to the significance of maintaining sign languages as a part of linguistic and cultural diversity, the International Day of Sign Languages was established. This day is now a part of a larger global deaf advocacy campaign to increase awareness of the problems that deaf people experience on a daily basis.
Since sign language is the deaf community’s primary means of communication, it is crucial to offer deaf students’ high-quality instruction on the language. For the internationally recognized development goals to be met, early access to sign language and excellent instruction on sign language are also essential.
Different sign languages can utilize various regional accents to set themselves apart and make it simpler for people to use the signs. The use and structure of sign language, which has a long history and is authentic, are also adapted to local preferences. Due to an obvious explanation, most deaf people will also be silent. First of all, those with congenital hearing loss are unable to learn any spoken languages, although some people who have hearing loss or go deaf have excellent clarity in their speech.
Not limited to this special day but every day throughout the year it is our responsibility to promote awareness on it and respect their endeavor.