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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing

Deaf Awareness Week

September September 21st - 27th, 2014

Deaf Awareness Week was first celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. This event is also known as the International Week of the Deaf and it commemorates the first congress of the World Federation of the Deaf which took place in September 1951.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to increase public awareness of the issues and the culture of people who are Deaf. The word “Deaf” with a capital D is connected to people with hearing loss that are part of a distinctive culture with a heritage and language, American Sign Language, unique to them. The event is an opportunity to promote equal access to information and services for Deaf individuals and to educate the public about the misconceptions of being Deaf. It is also an opportunity to learn about the types of educational programs, support services, and resources available to Deaf people as well as individuals who are Deaf-Blind or Hard of Hearing.

The World Federation of the Deaf and the National Association of the Deaf encourage organizations and local communities to recognize Deaf Awareness Week through events that educate and bring the community together. The types of events vary and may include awareness events with guest speakers, public information campaigns, distribution of material, workshops or panel discussions.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services through the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) and its seven (7) regional centers marks Deaf Awareness Week each year. The Department collaborates with Deaf individuals in local communities on activities such as but not limited to, silent lunch or dinner gatherings, Deaf culture workshops, self-advocacy workshops, presentations or performances by Deaf professionals or actors, community fairs or expos, sensitivity training, and ASL storytelling at local libraries.

For more information on Deaf resources available in North Carolina, contact a DSDHH Regional Center near you.

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State of North Carolina Home Page