Founded by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958, the last week of September is celebrated as International Week of the Deaf across the globe. Communities and organizations come together to celebrate the achievements of the Deaf community as well as the richness of Deaf culture. As WFD notes, it is a time to “gather together, become united, and show unity to the rest of the world.” Each year is marked with a theme, this years being “Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities.” Throughout the week, each day is dedicated to a specific topic related to sign language rights.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation declaring September 19-25th Deaf Awareness Week in Texas. Our state’s history is rich with contributions from the Deaf community, including Erastus Smith, a hero of the Texas Revolution. Additionally, in 1856 the 6th Texas Legislature helped ensure the support of the community by establishing the Texas School for the Deaf – still in existence today! Check out these events to celebrate with the community.
- Join the Texas School for the Deaf for ASL Expressions September 22 at 7 PM. The event showcases local and aspiring Deaf talent of all ages incorporating artistry and sign language which are a rich part of Deaf culture and Deaf history. More information can be found at ASL Expressions Registration.
- Deaf Awareness Day at the Texas State Aquarium is celebrated September 26, 1-5 PM with ASL presentations, educational activities, and more.
- South Texas Deaf Awareness Week Events run September 19-25 with a variety of events including a pizza night and a Beach Bash!