International Deaf Awareness Week 2017

International Deaf Awareness Week 2017 theme is "Full Inclusion with Sign Language" .

International Deaf Awareness Week is observed every year in the last whole week of September from Sunday to Saturday. The first World Congress of The Deaf was held in the last week of September in 1951 and since then the final week in the month of September came to be  specially marked to be a activity and awareness program against deafness. The main purpose behind the deaf awareness week is to know the people with the problem, understand their issues and to know about their accomplishments.

What is Deaf Awareness Week

The World Deaf Federation observe the Deaf Awareness Week as the special time to go through the life, happenings, issues and problem related to the deaf people. This life altering disability and the people sanding out despite this like Thomas Edison and Helen Keller are made example and the deaf are motivated to live their life in a better way.

Less than percent of the deaf population are born that way with the other half acquiring the problem as their life and age progress. There are different degrees of deafness and not the entire disabled are fully deaf and the different degrees of hearing impairment and the issue is well discussed on the day.

Activities during International Deaf Awareness Week 

During the last full week of September, various deaf organizations hold public awareness programs, and campaigns to educate the people about the problem and the life and hurdles that the deaf sector of the world has to overcome in their life. The educational institutions like the schools and colleges hold awareness events and conduct talk show so as to make the common man aware of the problem. 

Many times people who are deaf to a lesser extend do not identify their problem and going on like this might augment to the problem leading to permanent hearing loss. The awareness activities conducted in connection with the deaf awareness week takes people's notice towards the issue and how bad it can be if the minor hearing defect is not checked on time.

Other organization and companies also mark a Deaf Awareness Day in their curriculum to do something towards the awareness of the problem a percentage of the world faces.

Causes of Hearing Loss or Deafness

Congenital deafness or from birth deafness is found in many number of cases and the degree of deafness can vary from partial deafness in one ear to total deafness of both. The chance of being deaf from birth increases if one or both the parents are deaf or if there is a familial thread for the disorder. Mother's health and infection during the pregnancy also contributes its share towards child's ear development. Mother's health and well being is very important for the better and healthy development of the foetus, the same is true for the child's hearing development too.

Besides being deaf from birth, some people acquire this disability along their life or as they age. Certain infections, diseases and accidents are among the other main cause behind hearing impairment. Jaundice, rubella and chicken pox are among the diseases which are found to cause the defect. Similarly prenatal and postnatal infections can also result in hearing impairment in the child. 

Certain medicines are also found to cause permanent or reversible hearing loss, similarly physical trauma to the brain or the sides of the ear can also cause deafness. Aging can also decrease hearing in most people. The percentage of people who suffer from ear defect or partial hearing is more ain the 60 to 80 age group, tan below it.

Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss

Deafness and being deaf may not be in our hands, but if we take care and see to the issues of the ears before it is too late thereby preventing or reversing a number of cases. The health of the mother during pregnancy should be given adequate consideration so as to have a healthy and fit baby. Similarly in any case of ear problem or pain, the doctor should be consulted very soon to make sure that is not something serious.

Taking care and consulting a specialist while having medicines that are proven bad for the ear can help to reduce medicine related deafness. In the same way staying away from too much sound or wearing ear defenders when in noisy environment can all help in preventing the problem.

International Deaf Awareness Week Theme

  • 2009  - Deaf people’s cultural achievements
  • 2010  -  Deaf education
  • 2011  -  Accessibility to information and communications
  • 2012  -  Sign Bilingualism is a Human Right!
  • 2013  -  Equality for Deaf People
  • 2014 -  Equality for Deaf People