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International Day of Sign Languages – 23 September

Today, we celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) across the world. It is also part of the International Week of the Deaf, which is from 20 to 26 September this year.

What are sign languages?

Sign languages are languages that use hands and facial expressions to make signs to communicate. They are used by deaf people (who cannot hear) to “speak”.

There are around 300 different sign languages all over the world. They are different from one another. However, there is also a common international sign language that can be used at international events.

Why do we celebrate this day?

We celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness of the importance of sign languages.

As human beings, we all want to share our feelings, ideas with others. So, sign language is very important because it helps deaf people to fully express themselves too. Learning sign language from an early age is also important for children’s development. Moreover, even people with disabilities like autism and cerebral palsy can use sign language to communicate. These disabilities can make it hard for them to speak.

Theme of the day

The theme for the International Day of Sign languages this year is “We Sign for Human Rights”. According to the UN, the theme highlights “how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life”.

Share your art about sign languages with us at Curious Times.

Here is a short video where you can also learn the alphabet in the Indian Sign Language. Video credit: Digital Arts Academy for the Deaf LLP/Youtube

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