Congress theme: Sign Language Rights for All

Sign Language Rights for All as the overarching theme of the XVIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) highlights that full enjoyment of linguistic rights is vital in facilitating the full inclusion of the Deaf Community within society. 

Sign Language Rights for All as a principle needs to not only be recognised in international treaties and plans of action but also translated into action. Currently this means within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been ratified by more than 170 countries; and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has as its cornerstone 'leave no one behind'.

Sign Language Rights for All complements the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019) with the opportunity to demonstrate that all sign languages should be accorded the same status as spoken languages.

Sign Language Rights for All will underlie the WFD Congress program which will explore various aspects of life including but not limited to education, employment, health, technology, business and issues of specific relevance to the Global South.

Sign Language Rights for All provides a platform to recognise the diversity of the Deaf Community globally, inclusive of children, youth, senior citizens, women, deaf people with disabilities, deafblind people, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community, CODAs, parents of deaf children, professionals working with and people who have contact with the Deaf Community. It is important that we all work together collaboratively to achieve tangible outcomes so that the human rights of deaf people are realised.

Sign Language Rights for All benefits the global community in its entirety - everyone is welcome!

The program will consist of:

  • Opening Ceremony, Tuesday, July 23
  • Plenary Keynote Lecture, Tuesday, July 23
  • Thematic parallel sessions (on WFD topic commissions and Special Interest Groups), composed of plenary lectures and breakout sessions
  • Workshops and debates
  • Poster presentations
  • Closing Ceremony, Saturday, July 27

download the first announcement

Call for abstract is open!

Click here for guidelines and submission!

Call for abstracts keydates:

  • January 2018: Call for abtracts opening
  • 15 June 2018: abstract submission deadline
  • End of September 2018: notification of abstract selection
  • 15 January 2019: deadline for authors' registration