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International Week of the Deaf 2020

Posted on September 21, 2020



As a proud member of B.C.'s the Deaf and hard of hearing community, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to recognize this year's International Week of the Deaf (IWD) from Sept. 21 to 25, 2020.

IWD is a celebration of Deaf culture first launched by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. It is recognized annually by Deaf communities all over the world during the last full week of September. Activities and events take place that welcome the participation of all members of Deaf communities, including families of Deaf people, professional and accredited sign language interpreters, and peers.

"It's about gathering together, becoming united, showing that unity to the rest of the world, and promoting the human rights of Deaf people," says Mari Klassen, department head of ASL and Deaf Studies at VCC.

This year’s theme for IWD is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights,” and participants are encouraged to learn more about Deaf culture and human rights through daily themes, including:

Monday, Sept. 21 – Sign Languages
Tuesday, Sept. 22 – Inclusive Sign Language Environments
Wednesday, Sept. 23 – International Day of Sign Languages – Sign Language is for Everyone!
Thursday, Sept 24 – The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages
Friday, Sept. 25 – Equal Opportunities for All Deaf People

For more information, visit

View Mari Klassen's video message in ASL

Explore a new language and culture. VCC offers a certificate program as well as individual courses in ASL and Deaf studies