If you are an Ordinary or Associate Member of the World Federation of the Deaf, you are most welcome to
send a formal invitation to host a future WFD Board meeting in your country for any of the available dates:
109th WFD Board Meeting –and-
WFDYS Board Meeting
British Deaf Association
110th WFD Board Meeting
111st WFD Board Meeting
April - May 2016
October - November 2016
112nd WFD Board Meeting
113rd WFD Board Meeting –and-
WFDYS Board Meeting
27 May – 5 June 2017
Japanese Federation of the Deaf
114th WFD Board Meeting
115th WFD Board Meeting
April - May 2018
116th WFD Board Meeting
WFDYS Board Meeting
If you have any questions about hosting a WFD Board Meeting or WFD Training in your country, please contact Phillipa Sandholm, WFD Administrative Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RAMESH LAL SHRESTHA
- Tell us a little about yourself (who are you? childhood, family and education)
My name is Ramesh Lal Shrestha and I come from 24 kilometres out of Kathmandu, Nepal (Ugrachandi Nala-2, Kavre), from a big family of eight (8) siblings. I am married to a deaf woman and have a girl and a boy who are both hearing.
When I was one (1) year old, had a problem with my leg, which became quite disabled and then when I was eight (8) years old I had meningitis – this is how I became deaf. When I became deaf, my family did not know what to do with me. They went to Kathmandu to
find out more about schools for people with disabilities, but ended up staying in hearing school in my hometown.
I received BA on Education from the university in Kathmandu and while studying I taught Nepali sign language.
- Tell us a little about your work.
I teach adults and deaf children Nepali sign language; I am also a night supervisor overseeing deaf children at a hostel in Kathmandu.
I opened the first deaf school at my hometown in 1996, in which I had to find and enrol deaf children for the new school. Currently there are ten (10) classes at the school. I am currently the president of Kavre Development Association of the Deaf, which I
also established in 1995. I have advocated tirelessly to encourage young deaf people to teach deaf children at deaf schools and also to lobby for deaf people to have access to high level educational institutions.
- You are a Board Member of the WFD. What do you do?
I would like to see and to support more to deaf people getting equality and human rights around the world. I must keep a watchful eye and to make sure that they get information and support for getting equality and human rights.
- What was your most memorable experience on your duty as a Board Member or in your life?
It was my first time to attend a huge international deaf event, WFD World Congress in South Africa in July 2011. I learned a lot from the presentations at the Congress which opened my mind, as everything was very new to me, especially the different country
sign language interpreters. One of the most important things I learned was the UNCRPD tool kit, which helped me lobby my country government to improve the lives of deaf people in Nepal especially that deaf children are not to be mainstreamed with children
5. What are your wishes for the WFD to achieve?
I want the general population to respect deaf people who use sign language, their deaf identity, and deaf culture. It is important for WFD to give out information to our Ordinary Members on how to use the UN CRPD toolkit and learn to lobby to their country
governments on how to achieve equality. I wish for the WFD to achieve cooperation by deaf people into one family into equality to hearing people for better lives.
Ramesh Lal Shrestha
Photo: Mr. John van der Westhuizen, photographer
Ms. Patricia De Beer, photographer
Terry Riley, Chief Executive of the BSLBT, is awarded OBE
Terry Riley, the Chief Executive of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust, has been awarded the OBE.
He was given the award in recognition of his career in Deaf television and many years of working with the Deaf community.
Previously the Editor of BBC2's See Hear, Terry went on to become the Chief Executive of the BSLBT, commissioning and overseeing our programmes for the past five years.
He is also the Chair of the British Deaf Association and a board member of the World Federation of the Deaf.
Following the award, there was an event attended by staff from the BSLBT, colleagues from across his career, and his family.
The Chair of the BSLBT, Ruth Griffiths, said: "This is a great day because with the OBE we see national recognition
for Terry and all his work for Deaf television and the Deaf community. I think it marks the respect and affection that everyone who knows him feels. So many, many congratulations, Terry, for this honour which is so well deserved."
Acknowledgement by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (bslzone.co.uk/)
Photo credit: Martin Keene, Press Association
Deaf people in Maghreb region call for capacity building training
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) organised a workshop in Tunisia on 5-9 May 2014 as a part of a preparatory mission. The objective was to discuss needs for a capacity building project in the Maghreb region. Deaf representatives from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania,
Morocco and Tunisia attended the workshop led by WFD Board Member Dr Joseph Murray and WFD Human Rights Officer Ms Eeva Tupi. Ms Hend Al-Showaier who is a deaf expert on deaf issues in the Arab region was also present.
The workshop was possibly the first deaf Arab NGO activity that gathered participants together without presence of hearing people. This is significant because in the Arab region, hearing people have leadership and policy positions in organisations and events
purportedly being deaf-led. This is an issue as deaf people have not often been given the opportunity to represent themselves and direct their own lives. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has been ratified by governments
of Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. However, ratification has not changed the mentality in the region and deaf people are not consulted in issues concerning their lives. Instead, organisations led by deaf people are being ignored by national governments.
Information on the CRPD has not reached the deaf communities in these regions and deaf organisations have called for training in sign language. According to Ms Al-Showaier, these problems are common in the Arab world. Even though some Arab countries are wealthy,
the human rights situation of deaf people is poor within the whole region.
In the Maghreb area, the majority of educational options for deaf children are not available in sign language and none of the few sign language interpreter training programs have deaf people in decision-making positions. The poor educational background of deaf
people combined with public ignorance on their human rights has led to marginalization of this group in the society. Therefore it is very important for the WFD to seek project funding to provide national and regional-level capacity building training focusing
on human rights of deaf people according to international treaties. This includes training on how to use such treaty documents, strategies for collaboration with national organisations of persons with disabilities and governments, initiatives to strengthen
deaf leadership in deaf organisations, and developing professional sign language interpreters.
The WFD is grateful for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland that funded the travel expenses of Dr Murray and Ms Tupi, Their interactive discussions with deaf representatives in the Arab region enabled them to complete their project application.
For more information, please contact email@example.com
Deaf issues in 11th CRPD session
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (a CRPD Committee) held dialogue sessions with representatives of the governments of Azerbaijan, Costa Rica and Sweden, and adopted a list of issues on Belgium, Denmark, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand and
the Republic of Korea during its 12th session and the first pre-sessional working group in April 2014. The WFD was represented by Board Member Dr Joseph Murray and Human Rights Officer Ms Eeva Tupi during the first week of the session.
Dr Murray gave an opening statement on behalf of the WFD stressing the importance of supporting deaf associations and improving deaf education. Organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) had the opportunity to raise their priority concerns in private
side-events. During the session, deaf DPO representatives of Azerbaijan and Sweden shared information on deaf issues in their countries before the Committee.
The Committee requested that the government of Sweden provide information on the status of a planned investigation on the quality and quantity of Swedish Sign Language interpreter services, deafblind education, and communication by deaf people with medical
personnel in sign language. The state delegation of Costa Rica was asked to provide information on the availability of mass media and emergency information in Costa Rican Sign Language. The Committee encouraged the government of Costa Rica to adopt legislation
on sign language interpretation, ensure availability of electrical information in sign language, and sign language interpretation in the justice system and in health care settings. During interactive dialogue with the government of Azerbaijan, the Chair of
the Committee reminded the representatives on the appropriate use of terminology, as pantomime and deaf mute are not appropriate terms for sign language and deaf persons. The government of Azerbaijan was asked to explain the availability of sign language interpretation
in judicial proceedings. The Committee recommended the government to recognise Azerbaijani Sign Language, the national sign language as being official, start training sign language interpreters, and improve sign language skills of teachers of the deaf in collaboration
with the national association of the deaf. On the list of issues for Mexico, the Committee wished to know more about the use of sign language in judicial proceedings. Governments of Azerbaijan and Sweden were requested to make their concluding observations
available also in national sign language and to be disseminated nationwide and to DPOs.
Deaf people from Belgium, Denmark and Germany attended the first pre-sessional working group where representatives from the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) were present at side-events on respective countries. The New Zealand DPO delegation, in which deaf people
were involved, had a webcam meeting with the Committee. Lists of issues for Belgium, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea were adopted after these side-events. The Committee requested the governments of Denmark and the Republic
of Korea provide information on plans to officially recognise sign language. Denmark was questioned on the possibility of deaf people to have education in sign language. The government of New Zealand was asked to provide information on the possibility of deaf
people to serve as jurors (the result of the New Zealand Sign Language review that took place in 2011) and sign language interpreter services in criminal proceedings.
* Opening of 11th session - Spanish & International Sign -http://www.treatybodywebcast.
* Review of Sweden - French & International Sign - http://www.treatybodywebcast.
* Review of Azerbaijan - English & International Sign – http://www.treatybodywebcast.
* Review of Costa Rica - English, International Sign and Costa Rican national sign language - http://www.treatybodywebcast.
* Reading of General Comment on Article 12 - Spanish & International Sign - http://www.treatybodywebcast.
* Reading of General Comment on Article 9 - Spanish & International Sign - http://www.treatybodywebcast.
2nd International WFD Conference Proceedings in DVD
Did you miss the 2nd International WFD Conference, recently held in Australia? Perhaps you would like to share your experience of the Conference with others? Or perhaps you would like a memento to keep?
A DVD of the Conference is now available, in either Auslan or International Sign. To purchase your DVD please complete the order form at this website:
http://www.wfdsydney2013.com/ and return the completed order form to the Conference Organisers.
The DVD includes:
- Presentations of all Sessions
- Opening and Closing Ceremonies
- Welcome Reception Highlights
- Conference Dinner Highlights
WFD Conference Proceedings in English text
The Conference Proceedings in English text are now available to download -http://www.wfdsydney2013.com/
WFD ORDINARY MEMBERSHIP FEES
WFD Ordinary Membership fees MUST be paid in full (including debts from previous years) by 31 March 2014.
An invoice for 2014 Ordinary Membership fees was sent to all Ordinary Members on the first week of February 2014.
Payment of membership fee(s) as quickly as possible would be greatly appreciated.
NEWS FROM WFD MEMBERS AND PARTNERS
November 14th – Day of Slovenian Sign Language
The Slovenian government accepted a resolution to proclaim November 14th for the annual recognition of the Day of Slovenian Sign Language. The initiative was given by The National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia and the Ministry of Labour,
Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The resolution was signed by the Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek, MA. This was a historic turning point in the recognition and acknowledgment of the Slovenian Sign Language in Slovenia.
The first considerable turning point was the adoption of the Act on the Use of Slovenian Sign Language that was published on November 14th, 2002 in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. Therefore it is not a coincidence that this day has been accepted
as the Day of Slovenian Sign Language. The government has recognized all the work put into development of the Slovenian Sign Language by The National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia, and later on also by the Slovenian Forum of Sign
Language Interpreters. With this announcement made by the government, the year of 2014 is without a doubt also the year of the Slovenian Sign Language.
This year we are preparing various activities to achieve widespread recognition and usage of the sign language. Apart from the activities we plan for the Day of Slovenian Sign Language, we also want to bring it closer to the people. This March, with the cooperation
of the Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Center in Ljubljana, a theatre piece, interpreted into sign language, will be put on stage. The hall is also equipped with the induction loop for those who use hearing aids.
The path leading to the official recognition of the Slovenian Sign Language was more than 35 years long. Since 1979 the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia has organized numerous seminars on methods of learning sign language. We
have been preparing courses and founded a sector of interpreters. In 1986, a conference on issues of total communication was organized where various resolutions were passed, including recommendations to equally accept sign language and spoken language. Later
on we established communication with the government about adopting a law to recognize sign language. It took an entire decade until finally in 2002 the law was adopted. The law provides the right of the deaf to use Slovenian Sign Language and their right to
be informed through adapted techniques. Jasna Bauman, Meri Möderndorfer and Aljoša Redžepovič, MA, laid the foundation for the law, and further on Jasna Bauman did a lot of extra work in the final phase, so that the Government could finally adopt the law in
Chronological overview of the evolution of Slovenian sign language
In the year of 1980:
- At the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia a work group was formed to prepare the first dictionary of Slovenian Sign Language; those dictionaries
existed only in printed version.
- Photographs of certain signs and their explanations were published in the magazine Iz sveta tišine (from the World of Silence).
- On the Slovenian national television the program Prisluhnimo tišini (Let's Listen to the Silence) was aired twice a month. It had subtitles and was translated into sign
language. It is one of the oldest programs on the national TV and we are proud that after 24 years we are still creating it together.
In the year of 1984:
- The National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia studio was established. Step by step we have been equipping it, bringing it more and more up to date
till it has become what it is today. The studio supports all the informative programs of the Association and enables all the camera work in the development of the Slovenian Sign Language.
In the year of 1986:
- A Yugoslavian conference with foreign participants on the deaf people's rights to have sign language was held in Ljubljana.
- Manual of sign language for students was published at the Faculty of Education.
In the year of 1989:
- Courses of Slovenian Sign Language at different levels were organized at local Slovenian associations of the deaf and hard of hearing, faculties and schools.
In the year of 1990:
- The first dictionary of Slovenian Sign Language Govorica rok 1 (Hand language 1) was published.
- At the Ljubljana School for the Deaf they started with classes of Slovenian Sign Language, and launched a project introducing sign language in education, schooling and training
of the deaf and hard of hearing in Slovenia.
In the year of 1992:
- The second volume of the Slovenian Sign Language dictionary was published.
- The video collection Govorica rok (Hand language) with presentations of signs from the dictionary of Slovenian Sign Language was published.
In the year of 1993:
- A television program Video news for the deaf and hard of hearing started. The program in sign language was created entirely at the National Association of the Deaf and Hard
of hearing of Slovenia. All local schools for the deaf watched the program and various local TV stations aired it. This is how the program reached a wide audience around Slovenia.
In the year of 1995:
- The children's book The Frog Prince was published as an illustrated edition with written words and signs. With this project, literature in sign language was approached to
the deaf for the first time. Since then, we have published various children's books adapted for the deaf.
- Deaf investigators and sign language teachers Marjeta Kulovec and Meri Möderndorfer participated in the European conference Investigating sign language in Paris.
In the year of 1996:
- At the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Meri Möderndorfer, Jasna Bauman and Aljoša Redžepovič, MA, (among others) were named members of
a group to prepare the project called The Deaf's Right to an Interpreter.
In the year of 2001:
- Ljubljana School for the Deaf published the Multimedia manual of the Slovenian Sign Language containing 2570 signs, 1790 drawings and 1800 videos.
In the year of 2002:
- The National Assembly adopted the law about the use of Slovenian Sign Language. It was published in the Official Gazette on November 14th, 2002.
- The Council for the Slovenian Sign Language of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia was founded.
In the year of 2003:
- The Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia and Slovenian Forum of Sign Language Interpreters published the Multimedia practical dictionary of the Slovenian
Sign Language, containing 2500 signs, which won a European language award (The European Language Label).
In the year of 2004:
- The Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia founded Forum of Sign Language Interpreters.
In the year of 2005:
- Andreja Žele, PhD, in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia prepared a manual, based on a grammatical foundation of the
Slovenian language. The manual's title is Sign language – the speech of signs in terms of recognizing Slovenian ortography.
In the year of 2006:
- The school for the deaf and hard of hearing Ljubljana published the manual Naučimo se kretati 1 (Let's learn how to use sign language 1).
- A group for the standardization of Slovenian signs started its work. One of their first assignments was to review the vocabulary of the Slovenian Sign Language from all
existing sources: Govorica rok 1 and 2 and the dictionaries.
In the year of 2007:
- The website and the Web Television of the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia were launched.
- A group for the standardization of Slovenian signs officially started their investigation of the signs, their uniformity and examples, and they dealt with publishing the
dictionary on the website of the Association.
- Guide on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was published in Slovenian sign language.
In the year of 2008:
- Translation and adaptation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was published in Slovenian sign language.
- The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia was translated into Slovenian sign language.
In the year of 2009:
- Slovenian Government press conferences started to be interpreted into sign language.
- Slovenian Forum of Sign Language Interpreters organized a conference on the situation of the Slovenian Sign Language. For a better inclusion of the Slovenian Sign Language
into our environment a special examination of the situation of the Slovenian Sign Language, ordered by the Ministry of Culture, was carried out.
- Main news program of the Slovenian National Television, important political events and electoral confrontations started to be interpreted into sign language.
- Slovenian Center for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programs and the Ministry of Education and Sport gave a language award to The National Association of
the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia for the multimedia didactic tool for learning and teaching Slovenian Sign Language.
In the year of 2010:
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia published, with the Ministry of Culture's support, the teacher's manuals Naučimo se kretati 1 and 2 (Let's
learn how to use sign language 1 and 2).
- In a formal letter Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology warned the universities and concessionaires about the right of deaf students’ right to an interpreter
at their faculty.
- In the field of inclusive pedagogy at the Faculty of Education in Koper, classes called Slovenian Sign Language and deafness started. At the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana,
classes called Sign language have already been a part of the program for quite a few years. Students from different fields can also choose it as an elective course.
- In Brussels, the Declaration on Sign Languages in the European Union was accepted and it served as a tool to convince national institutions about the importance of recognition
of a sign language.
In the year of 2011:
- A group for the standardization of signs started to meet twice a month. The group is formed by eleven members from schools and the Association, though other interpreters
and linguists also attend the meetings.
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia organizes a course of Slovenian Sign Language and the culture of the deaf, which is offered as one of the
elective courses in secondary and primary schools.
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia, together with the Ministry of Culture, published the children's book Mojca Pokrajculja, a traditional story
from the Slovenian region of Koroška (text, illustrations and drawings of signs) with an enclosed video.
- National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, on the initiative of Ljubljana School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Forum of Slovenian Sign Language Interpreters and
The National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia, added provisions to the Placement of Children with Special Needs Act, which enable the education of the deaf in Slovenian Sign Language.
In the year of 2012:
- Slovenian sign language became a part of the National Program for Language Policy 2012-2016.
- Following the Bologna Process, at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana, the program in the field of Special and Rehabilitation Pedagogy was reformed, putting more emphasis
on deafness and sign language.
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia was awarded multimedia didactic tool for learning and teaching Slovenian Sign Language, was suggested as
the best linguistic project in Slovenia between 2002 and 2012 by the European Commission.
- At the Conference on Multilingualism in Europe that was held in Cyprus, the winning projects from European countries participated and the Slovenian project won a European
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia, together with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, published the Slovenian folk tale
Peter Klepec (text, illustrations and drawings of signs) with an enclosed video.
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia obtained copyright for the manual Naučimo se kretati 1 (Let's learn to use sign language 1) and published
the manual Naučimo se kretati 3 (Let's learn to use sign language 3). That covered the field of sign language courses for all three levels.
In the year of 2013:
- Forum of Slovenian Sign Language Interpreters and The National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia actively participated in the preparation of the action
plan of the National Program for Language Policy 2012-2016.
- National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia, together with the Ministry of Culture, published an adaptation of Fran Levstik's tale Kdo je napravil Vidku
srajčico (text, illustrations and drawings of signs) with an enclosed video.
- Council of the Slovenian Government organised a round table on the issue of the regulations of additional professional help, based on the Placement of Children with Special
Needs Act. It also homogenized the field, concerning the Deaf people's rights to communicate in their own language – sign language.
- Training program was prepared and the first workshop was organized for the teachers of the Slovenian Sign Language. This accounts for a prepared group of teachers and a
uniform system of teaching.
- The website of the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia was brought up to date. Dictionary of Slovenian Sign Language was remodeled by the newest
language standards. This enabled further development of work in the field of sign language.
In the year of 2014:
- On January 2nd the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the Official Gazette declared November 14th as the Day of Slovenian Sign Language.
At the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia we will, under a special social
program, continue to work on the dictionary, standardization and investigation of the signs, investigation of the Slovenian Sign Language and its grammar, we will continue to publish manuals, didactic materials and books, to prepare television programs in
sign language and other activities, granting to the deaf an equal status in the society. We will improve the system we built with new contents and projects. It is a long-term project that opens a variety of new possibilities, as, for example, children's signs,
stories in pictures, review of the history of the Slovenian Sign Language and also regulation of its funding. In other countries the above-mentioned system is financed with the concession by the country through public services or by establishing a special
institution for the development of a sign language.
I thank all of you, who have carved this path of development, interpretation, teaching and organizing the legislation of Slovenian Sign Language: Ljubica Podboršek, Meri Möderndorfer, Aljoša Redžepovič, MA, Miro Kocjan, Franc Planinc, Darja Holec, Jasna Bauman,
Karel Destovnik, Zlata Crljenko, Katja Kranjc, Alojz Pavlič, Frida Planinc, Mladen Veršič, Veronika Cigler, Andreja Žele, PhD and many others.
I would also like to mention Aleksandra Rijavec Škerl, who is in charge of the program of development of the Slovenian Sign Language at the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Slovenia. The program was her idea and it has been in full bloom
in the past years. She also prepared the legal basis for the Government to declare the Day of Slovenian Sign Language. At the moment this may be a small step, but for the future it is certainly a big one.
A new award recognizing significant scholarship on the history of deaf people was announced in April 2014 during Gallaudet University's symposium entitled Celebrating 150 Years of Visionary Leadership. Dr John S. Schuchman is a Professor Emeritus of History
at Gallaudet University, author of Hollywood Speaks: Deafness and the Film Entertainment Industry and co-author of Deaf People in Hitler's Europe. Dr Schuchman and Dr Betty J. Schuchman created the Schuchman Deaf History Award to encourage research on the
lives and experiences of deaf people and their communities. The Schuchman Deaf History Award is given every five years and comes with a monetary prize and recipients are recognized in a public event and their names are added to a plaque placed in a prominent
location at Gallaudet. Deaf History International received the first Schuchman Deaf History Award in recognition of their groundbreaking transnational work to foster and disseminate research.
Photo: Gallaudet University
DeafWaves Added to H3.tv Programming Lineup
Video signed release- http://www.h3.tv/cpage.php?
Toronto, Canada – 1 June 2014 - “DeafWaves,” a new entertainment show centered on Deaf Culture and presented in International Sign with subtitles, launches Saturday, June 7th at H3.tv. This internet show is a production of H3 Network Media Alliance. All episodes
of this original production become part of H3.tv’s programming schedule with each episode showing coming out every two weeks.
Anselmo DeSousa, who was host of “H3 Bridge,” a cultural program showing how Deaf and hearing people see the same things so differently, is host of “DeafWaves.” The “H3 Bridge” series, which was shown as part of Air Canada’s domestic and international in-flight
video programming lineup, will be replaced by “Deaf Challenge,” which presents obstacles that Deaf people face in daily life.
In addition to Deaf Challenges, the “DeafWaves” series will also include Deafbeat reports on the Deaf entertainment industry, CookSign, Deaf Trivia, and include guest interviews. All videos are presented in International Sign. With different sign languages
around the world, International Sign allows Deaf people to communicate with each other through use of universal signs at international meetings and sporting events.
The goal of H3 Network Media Alliance, which was founded in 2009, is to enlighten, empower, and unite the global Deaf community by producing and broadcasting online comprehensive current affairs and cultural programming. “DeafWaves” joins the H3.tv lineup along
with other h3.TV original shows including
"WorldAbout," "DeafWire," SportsDeaf, and "IS Today" shown 24 hours, 7 days a week at http://www.H3.tv.
VIDEO SIGNED RELEASE - http://www.h3.tv/cpage.php?
WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF YOUTH SECTION (WFDYS)
The WFDYS board met in Santiago de Chile, 21-27 April 2014 for their 24th board meeting. At the board
meeting, we prepared for the last year of the WFDYS board period, where we talked about WFDYS General Assembly 2015 and the action plan for the next Board period (2015-2019). We also discussed and updated our guidelines with the aim to make the future work
of WFDYS easier, also proposed some new points in our internal rules for the WFD Board to approve. We are excited about plans for the next WFDYS General Assembly and hope that all our Youth Ordinary Members (YOMs) would be excited too. The WFDYS board thanked
the Chile Federation of the Deaf and the Chile Federation of the Deaf Youth Section for hosting their 24th WFDYS board meeting.
Does your country want to host a WFDYS camp? The Junior Camp for the next WFDYS period will be in 2017 and the Children Camp for the next WFDYS period will be in 2018. Information about the Camp bid process will be sent to YOMs in the near future and, also
information about nominating candidates for WFDYS Board 2015-2019 will be sent to YOMs.
We are happy to announce that we are receiving more Youth Ordinary Members (YOM) applications. Current WFDYS YOM countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Kenya, Norway, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Is your country still not a YOM? Then read the information about becoming a YOM later in the text. WFDYS Board will also send more information to all deaf youth associations and sections in the near future about what kind of rights does a YOM has.
WFDYS has been represented at those events during the period of January - May 2014:
- 3 March 2014: Lecture about Human Rights at Frontrunners 9, Castberggård Denmark.
WFDYS representative: Miss Jenny Nilsson
- 8-9 March: International Disability Alliance, Conference, Nairobi
WFDYS representative: Mr. Robert Ssewaggudde
- 1 April: OHCHR, Research and Right to Development Division Women Section, Geneva, Switzerland.
WFDYS representative: Miss Jenny Nilsson
- 4 April: CJS-CNSE (Spanish Deaf Youth Association) General Assembly, Madrid, Spain
WFDYS representative: Miss Ana Navas Serna
- 17-19 April: WFDYS Lecture, Bolivia
WFDYS representative: Miss Ana Navas Serna
- 22-24 April: WFDYS 24th Board Meeting, Santiago, Chile
WFDYS representative: WFDYS Board
- 24 April: Visiting at a deaf school in Santiago, Chile
WFDYS representatives: Miss Ana Navas Serna, Miss Eun Jung Byun, Miss Florencia Laurencia, Miss Jannicke Kvitvær and Miss Jenny Nilsson
- 25 April: Visiting at a deaf school in Valpariso, Chile
WFDYS representatives: Miss Ana Navas Serna, Miss Eun Jung Byun, Miss Florencia Laurencia, Miss Jannicke Kvitvær and Miss Jenny Nilsson
- 26 April: Youth Seminar in Chile
WFDYS representatives: Miss Ana Navas Serna, Miss Eun Jung Byun, Miss Florencia Laurencia, Miss Jannicke Kvitvær and Miss Jenny Nilsson
-7-9 May: World Conference on Youth 2014, Sri Lanka
WFDYS representative: Mr. Robert Ssewaggudde
-23-25 May: WFD Board Meeting, Moscow, Russia
WFDYS representative: Miss Jenny Nilsson
Lecture in Bolivia, 17-19 April
Before the WFDYS board meeting in Santiago de Chile, board members had the opportunity to attend the 1st Youth Seminar held by the Youth Section of the Bolivian Federation of the Deaf, called FEBOJS. The seminar took place in Sucre during 17-19 April 2014.
Ana Navas, WFDYS board member, gave lectures and workshops about WFDYS and its advocacy work, the UN CRPD, and leadership, for a group of forty young participants from different areas of Bolivia. At the end, there was an interesting debate about how to work
with politics in Bolivia, where one of the members of the Bolivian Federation of the Deaf joined too. Some weeks later FEBOJS became a Youth Ordinary Member (YOM) of the WFDYS.
Youth Seminar in Chile, 26 April 2014
Members of the WFDYS board stayed in Santiago after their meeting for an event hosted by the Chile Deaf Youth Section – a seminar for deaf youth in Chile. WFDYS board members presented on the WFDYS and its advocacy work; Human Rights and the UN CRPD, leadership
and youth movement.
Next WFDYS board meeting
Our next board meeting will be in Washington D.C., United States of America, 29-31 July 2014.
3rd WFDYS Children Camp 2014
The camp will be in the USA 1-8 August 2014, at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. The age limit for participants is between 9-12 years old. Each country may send one leader with their camp participants; the age limit for the leader is between 21-30 years
old. The deadline for application to the camp is 1st July 2014.
For more information about the camp, visit the camp´s own website: http://dyusa.org/wfdyshome/
10 Youth Individual Members = gives 1 children free attendance at WFDYS camp
If you want to donate to WFDYS, you can become a YIM (Youth Individual Member).
WFDYS is supporting children from developing countries to attend the WFDYS camp, with sponsorship is coming from WFDYS funds. If WFDYS get ten (10) YIMs, this will give one child free attendance to a WFDYS camp.
Everyone between ages of 8–30 years can become a WFDYS YIM, the membership cost is 25 euro for group 1 and group 2 in World Bank (A and B countries). As a YIM you will get the WFD newsletter and WFDYS meeting minutes. For more information visit WFDYS website: http://wfdys.org/#/YIM/ – or send an email to WFDYS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Ordinary Member
The WFD currently has 133 Ordinary Members, and WFDYS has sixteen (16) Youth Ordinary Members (YOMs).
The last WFDYS General Assembly in South Africa 2011 decided that countries have to be YOMs to have voting rights at the next and future WFDYS General Assembly (ies).
If your national deaf youth association still is not a YOM, you can send an application to WFDYS. More information and the applications forms are to find at WFDYS website: http://wfdys.org/#/YOM/. If you have any questions, you can send an email to email@example.com
Facebook: World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section
The WFD wishes to thank individual members and friends who have made contributions to support the on-going
work of the WFD, as follows:
Ms Heli Romu
Ms Tarja Sandholm
Ms Tina Saighal
Ms Kaisa Alanne (Auction for the Koala Bear at WFD President’s BBQ party in October 2013)
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Five articles refer directly to sign languages and the deaf:
Article 2: Definitions
Article 9: Accessibility (2 e)
Article 21: Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (b and e)
Article 24: Education (3b, 3c and 4)
Article 30: Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport (4)
As of now:
• 147 ratifications of the Convention
• 158 signatories to the Convention
• 82 ratifications of the Optional Protocol
• 92 signatories to the Optional Protocol
Recent signatures and ratifications:
• Burundi ratified the Convention on 22 May 2014
• State of Palestine ratified the Convention on 2 April 2014
• Switzerland ratified the Convention on 15 April 2014
A conference hosted by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) was held in Nairobi, Kenyato deepen dialogue between national, regional and global organisations of persons
with disabilities (DPOs), 6-8 March 2014. At the end of the three-day event, participants
from 14 DPOs from Africa, in the presence of high-level governmental representatives and
UN agencies, adopted the Nairobi Declaration. The Declaration contains the priorities of the
African continent within the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
The conference facilitated the strengthening of the unity of persons with disabilities in Africa
and provided an excellent platform for all to discuss the challenges persons with disabilities
encounter. There was a consensus among participants that advocacy efforts need to be
intensified and the rights of persons with disabilities mainstreamed at national and international
levels, including among intergovernmental bodies and development cooperation agencies
operating in African countries.
The Nairobi Declaration calls on Member States to prioritise persons with disabilities when
designing the future post-2015 development goals and to place particular emphasis on
cross-disability issues, accessibility, the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities,
and the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in decision-making processes
leading to inclusive policies and programmes.
Related Information: * Text of the Nairobi Declaration in English, French, Spanish, Arabic & Portuguese:
Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council’s 25th regular session took place in Geneva from 3 to 28 March 2014.
During the session, a resolution was adopted on the right of persons with disabilities to
education (article 24 CRPD). The resolution calls for States to address exclusion, violence
and other barriers, to take a student-centered approach, to increase emphasis on teacher
and interpreter training, and for States not yet Party to the CRPD to transition to an
inclusive education system. It requests Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) to do a study on article 19 of the CRPD. The resolution requests UN offices to implement accessibility.
The Council’s annual interactive panel discussion on the rights of persons with disabilities took
place on 19 March on inclusive education. Click the link below for the webcast
(with International Sign and captioning in English –
Several side events on the rights of persons with disabilities were held during the session.
On the 5 March 2014, the Permanent Mission of Finland, IDA, and partners, held a side event honouring UN Human Rights Award recipient Liisa Kauppinen, and focusing on inclusive
On 14 March 2014, IDA member WNUSP held a side event entitled Torture in Psychiatry.
On 20 March, the Permanent Mission of Austria, IDA, the Zero Project and partners held a
side event sharing developments and good practices on accessibility.
Also during the session, the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of were adopted for
fifteen countries. A panel on civil society space also took place during the session and was
made accessible to persons with disabilities.
Joint Event of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council
On 9-10 April 2014, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Economic
and Social Council held a joint event entitled: The role of partnerships in the implementation
of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In advance of the event, IDA and the International
Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) provided written inputs to the office
of the PGA emphasising the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their representative
organisations in the new global partnership in light of Article 32 of the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). IDA and IDDC recommended that the new
partnership should be constructed as a platform for multi-stakeholder policy dialogues to impact
national implementation of the post-2015. Further, it was highlighted that the creation of
multi-stakeholder forums should be composed of governments, civil society and the private
sector. These forums would serve as an advisory and monitoring body to:
(1) concentrate on gaps in implementation and (2) provide technical expertise for implementation
of the new goals, in particular for marginalised groups, such as
persons with disabilities. Related Documents:
President of the General Assembly Thematic Debate
On 24-25 April 2014, the President of the General Assembly (PGA) held a Thematic Debate
titled “Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies”. In advance of the event, IDA and the
International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) provided written inputs to the office
of the PGA highlighting the importance of the creation of participatory governance, which
enables the representation of all citizens, especially the most marginalised, such as persons
with disabilities, women, indigenous populations and older people.
Related documents: http://www.
Treaty Bodies - Geneva
12th and future sessions: The 12th session will take place from 15 September to 3 October 2014
during which the Committee will review Mexico, Korea, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand and Ecuador, and adopt the list of issues on Croatia and Czech Republic. A pre-sessional week will
be held from 6-10 October during which the list of issues will be adopted on Dominican Republic, Turkmenistan (TBC), UK (TBC) and Mongolia (TBC)- see the Committee’s information note
on the 12th session;
The 13th session will take place from 13-24 April 2015, followed by the 3rd pre-sessional working
group from 27 -30 April 2015. At the 13th session, the Committee will hold a day of general
discussion on Article 19 and Article 24 in view of elaborating General Comments on these two
The 14th session will take place from 14 September- 2 October 2015, followed by the 4th
pre-sessional working group from 5-9 October 2015.
PERSPECTIVES ON THE CONCEPT AND DEFINITION OF INTERNATIONAL SIGN, by Dr. Johanna Mesch
International Sign (IS) is commonly used at the General Assembly (GA) of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) and also in many other international meetings, conferences, and events.
The status of International Sign as a language has been debated for a long time due to its flexibility and possibilities as a communication system. A dictionary of Gestuno (British Association of the Deaf, 1975) was published for use in international communication,
especially for conferences. It had a limited vocabulary, and did not include any grammar. The term Gestuno itself is no longer used. International Signs (IS) is the current and most used term, and IS varies depending on the language background of the signers
who use it.
The publication on the Perspectives on the Concept and Definition of International Sign is now available in PDF format from the WFD Secretariat. If you would like a copy, please be in contact with Ms Phillipa Sandholm,
A popular book published for WFD (2003) - Collection of data: Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies and Tomas Hedberg, Swedish National Association of the Deaf. The Country Name-Sign books are available in the WFD Secretariat.
If you would like to order a copy, email: info(at)wfdeaf.org and then we will send you an invoice for payment of the order.
DEAF PEOPLE & HUMAN RIGHTS
A report written by Ms Hilde Haualand, researcher and Mr Colin Allen, project coordinator and report assistant.
The “Deaf People and Human Rights” report is based on a survey that is, up until now, the largest knowledge database on the situation of Deaf people. The lives of Deaf people in 93 countries, most of which are developing countries, are addressed. The Swedish
National Association of the Deaf and the World Federation of the Deaf initiated the survey, with funding from the Swedish Agency for International Development Co-operation (Sida) and the Swedish Organisations of Disabled Persons International Aid Association
The report is available on the WFD Website in English and International Signs. You can also order a DVD of the report in International Sign for postage fee (11 €).
If you wish to receive the DVD, please contact WFD Secretariat Office at info(at)wfdeaf.org.
If you are interested in ordering items from WFD, such as DVDs, T-shirts, WFD Pins, watches, and caps,
you can make an order through email, which is info(at)wfdeaf.org Here is the price list of the items:
Name-Sign book – 5, 00 €
–Suggested International Signs for use at the WFD General Assembly – 7, 00 €
DVD - Deaf People and Human Rights - 11, 00 €
T-shirt (white), only available in size XL & L, WFD Logo on the front – 5, 00 €
with art design, available sizes are L, M & S, (white only) – 5, 00 €
WFD Pen – 2, 00 €
Key Necklet – 3, 00 €
Notepad – 3, 00 €
WFD Pin – 2, 00 €
WFD Cap – 2, 50 €
Calendar 2014 – 5, 00 €
5th International Conference of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health
Theme: Making Hearing Health a Global Priority
Date: 25-26 July 2014
Place: Oxford, United Kingdom
Nordic Culture Festival of the Deaf 2014
Date: 30 July-2 August 2014
Place: Turku, Finland
Mute Sounds Festival
Date: 22-24 August 2014
Place: Scheveningen, The Netherlands
26th WFD Regional Secretariat for Asia Representatives Meeting
Date: 24-28 August 2014
Place: Macau SAR, P.R. China
European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Conference
Theme: Mind Tricks
Date: 12-14 September 2014
Place: Antwerp, Belgium
6th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness
Theme: Pathways to Rights
Date: 16-19 September 2014
Place: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
World Conference on Indigenous People
Date: 22-23 September 2014
Place: New York, USA (in the United Nations (UN) headquarters)
SIGN7 conference, A conference of sign language users
Date: 12-15 October 2014
Place: Zhongzhou University, China
Submission of abstracts: 10 May 2014
Notification of acceptance: 30 May 2014
Registration: 30 August 2014
The 4th International Conference on Disability & Rehabilitation
Date: 19–21 October 2014
Place: Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
World Summit Destinations For All
Theme: One World for Everyone
Date: 19-22 October 2014
Place: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
15th World Deaf Magicians Festival
Date: 26 October-1 November 2014
Place: Chicago, Illinois USA
Organiser: Matthew Morgan
7th International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference
Date: 5-7 February 2015
Place: Leuven, Belgium
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 June 2014
18th Winter Deaflympics
Date: 23 March-4 April 2015
Place: Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian Federation
Organiser: International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD)
International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition
Date: 1 - 3 July 2015
Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contact: Prof. Anne Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
22nd International Congress on the Education of the Deaf
Theme: Educating Diverse Learners: Many Ways, One Goal
Date: 6-9 July 2015
Place: Athens, Greece
Organiser: Deaf Studies Unit, University of Patras
Telephone: +30 210 327 4570
Fax: +30 210 331 1021
Abstract submission is open now, in which you can send online only. The deadline for sending the abstract is on 15 March 2014. If have a question on abstract submission, send email to this email address: email@example.com
17th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
Theme: Strengthening Human Diversity
Date: 28 July-2 August 2015
Place: Istanbul, Turkey
Organiser: Turkish National Federation of the Deaf
International Federation of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (IFHOH) World Congress
Date: 23-26 June 2016
Place: Washington, DC, USA
More information will be announced later
If you know about an upcoming conference or regional or international interest, be sure to send us information about it for our Calendar in the WFD newsletter and website.
WFD Newsletter is published six times a year. We welcome all news, articles, letters to the editor,
and other contributions. We serve the right of acceptance or rejection and the right to edit all submissions that we publish.
Please send all submissions to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions deadlines for 2014:
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Friday, 31 October 2014
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Copyright © 2014 WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF, All rights reserved.
WFD Newsletter June 2014
World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)