This week, 18-24 September 2023, we are celebrating International Week of Deaf People, held every year to acknowledge Deaf people and their Deaf Communities around the world. During this week, each country will celebrate their unique history and will highlight the diversity and richness of their language, culture and contribution to their communities.
On Saturday 23 September, the International Day of Sign Languages will be celebrated and will offer an opportunity to support and promote the linguistic and cultural identity of all Deaf people and sign language users.
Auslan, the language of the Australian Deaf Community, is one of more than 300 different sign languages in use around the world. In Victoria, more than 35,000 students in 251 government schools are studying Auslan, one of the most popular languages taught in schools.
The International Day of Sign Languages is also a valuable opportunity to increase awareness of Indigenous Sign Languages and the ways in which they enhance the wellbeing and identity of deaf Indigenous people.