International Week of the Deaf 2016

IWD 2016: Celebrating central role of interpreters in Global Initiatives

International Week of the Deaf (IWD) is a global celebration and awareness campaign led by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) since 1958.

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) and FIT in Istanbul almost exactly one year ago between President Dr Debra Russell of WASLI and FIT President Dr Henry Liu (photo right), there has been much active collaboration benefiting both international organisations.

2016 marks another milestone in this collaboration - the joint celebration of International Translation Day - a global awareness campaign in increasing the visibility of the role of translators, interpreters and terminologists.

Thanks to this important strategic relationship with WASLI, FIT is now more connected than ever with the Deaf communities around the world. FIT is proud to be part of the IWD celebration, promoting the work of WFD to an audience previously not accessible.

This year IWD celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

WFD, FIT and WASLI aim to highlight the critical role sign and spoken translators, interpreters and terminologists play in the implementation of CRPD and the future success of the SDG and other global initiatives. In the last 10 years, sign and spoken translators, interpreters and terminologists has connected different worlds in legal, mental health, medical, education, employment and political participation to ensure the protection of human rights. This will continue especially with increase mobility of the Deaf around the world, voluntary or otherwise.

Much expanded from MDG, adapted in 2015 with specific focus on disabilities, United Nations agreed to the scope of the SDG consisting of 169 targets to be focused. The UNDP Administrator Helen Clark emphasised that “the role of these targets is to bring the goals down to manageable bites.”

FIT and WASLI wish to draw attention to the fact that sign and spoken language translators, interpreters and terminologists connect the different agencies and the local populations, thus critical in the work towards achieving these SDGs.
It marks a new beginning that FIT collaborates WALSI - our sign language counterpart - together in support of WFD and in celebrating IWD.

Logos of IWD 2016, SDGs and CRPD

Logos of IWD 2016, SDGs and CRPD

Click here to view the PDF version of this press release.

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