International Sign Language Day
By Antonia Di Fiore
Since 2018, September 23 is the International Day of Sign Languages, proclaimed by the UN. The date commemorates the creation of the World Federation of the Deaf in 1951, a non-government organization that currently holds the status of an advisory body to the United Nations and the highest world authority in the defense of rights and interests of people with hearing impairment.
It is a global event that is celebrated together with the International Week of the Deaf during the last seven days of September.
The motto of the first edition was With Sign Language, We Are All Included! and it has remained as the slogan of this festive day. Therefore, there is no doubt that its fundamental purpose is to ensure the social inclusion of users of sign languages with a view to the full realization of their human rights.
Thanks to this initiative, the status of national sign languages has been improved through the implementation of policies, plans, programs and projects aimed at improving the education of people with hearing functional diversity. This has facilitated their access to information and basic services, and the human rights of these people have been strengthened.
In Cuba, it can be said that we have been pioneers in the defense of rights for equality and the inclusion of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and the Deaf-Blind Community, since 1978, when the National Association of the Deaf of Cuba (Ansoc) was founded, as a non-government organization (NGO) of a social nature with its own legal and economic personality.
To broaden and generalize its mission, in the provincial branches in Cuba there are Deaf Instructors of Cuban Sign Language trained to teach this Language to all who request it.