Deaf Leadership

The theme for the 6th day of International Week of the Deaf (IWD) is ‘Deaf Leadership’ and highlights the importance of the inclusion of Deaf Leaders in advocacy work.

Today 26th September is the 6th day of International Week of the Deaf and the theme is ‘Deaf Leadership’. The motto of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is “Nothing about us without us”. When the hearing community look at difficulties faced by the Deaf in education and wish to help. They have discussions to set up NGO, courses, etc. These discussions must not be held if Deaf individuals are not a part of it. This is because, Deaf individuals know the needs of the community. They know how to design Sign Language courses. When hearing people create courses, it does not suit the needs of the Deaf. Due to this Deaf people are unable to be independent in the future & are not empowered to work for the community. Hence, talks about the Deaf must not take place without them. Deaf individuals know their goals, they have experience and know the wants of the community. This is Deaf Leadership.

Around the world for over two hundred years, Deaf organisations under Deaf Leadership have advocated for their Human Rights. The WFD is the world’s largest international uni-disability association advocating for the Deaf Community. The WFD's Board led by Deaf leaders keep advocating for the Deaf and this creates changes within the community. The WFD has 125 member countries. For example, from India AIFD is a member of WFD. Associations from Japan, New Zealand and other countries are also part of the 125 members. Their aim is to advocate and uplift the Deaf Community. Deaf leaders are part of the Deaf community. They have experience and will help to make a difference. It is important that the Deaf take charge. Hence they will be able to achieve Human Rights. It is important to provide sufficient funding to such organisations so that Deaf people can lead. A Deaf Leader fluent in Sign Language is of the utmost priority to achieve Human Rights. Hence, Deaf members from various Deaf Communities must take part in advocacy work.