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Theme for 2023: A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere!

What is International Week of the Deaf (IWD)?

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last week of September each year to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held.

International Week of the Deaf is celebrated through various activities by the respective Deaf Communities worldwide.

Example of such activities includes but not limited to Sign Language teaching, talent show, Storytelling, etc The activities call for participation and involvements of various stakeholders including families, peers, Governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters and

Organizations of persons with disabilities. This year’s IWD runs from 18-25th September, 2023. It’s a time when people can come together annually to recognize and celebrate the vibrant Deaf community.

During this week different themes are highlighted:

➢ Declaration on the Rights of Deaf Children

➢ Building Capacity across the Globe

➢ Realising “Nothing Without Us”

➢ Putting Deaf People on the Agenda

➢ Achieving Sign Language Rights For All

➢ International Day of Sign Language: A World Where Deaf People Everywhere can Sign Anywhere

➢ Building Inclusive Deaf Community Why is International Week of the Deaf important?

International Week of the Deaf is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the Deaf Community on different levels. It is about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.

International Week of the Deaf strives to promote the human rights of deaf people and highlight topics that merit attention. International Week of the Deaf aims to call for unity from the rest of the world through consistent, coordinated and widespread mobilization to ensure that the campaigns are visible through sufficient media coverage.


In the Deaf culture sign language is the commonly used method of communication. We communicate using our hands and listen using eyes. Sign language is a visual-gestural language which has no written form.

However, we encourage using either natural sign language or simple written English, whenever you are communicating with a deaf person.

Kiswahili though a national language in Kenya is not highly recommended when communicating with the deaf, this is because not all deaf people are fluent in the language.

Church Inclusion

We are a community called to serve and worship God using our hands. We just as the hearing congregation listen to the word, sing, clap, but all through signing.

Our mode of communication might be thought to cause tension disruptions to the hearing community but to us it's helpful, it's our best mode of communication for we can't hear, we see and listen to the Sign Language Interpreters to get the message being conveyed.

Let’s not focus on the disability but the ability that the deaf congregations bring to the church.

Our Community

At Holy Family Minor Basilica we're blessed to have a Deaf community who usually meet on Sundays at 10 :00 a m for SCC at Cardinal Otunga Annex 7th floor, Mother Teresa room and attend the 11:30 am Mass ( Interpreted Mass).

We usually have other activities of the year like sports, pilgrimages, annual Deaf Mass among others.

We're around 20 members, and we humbly request Christians who have deaf individuals in their homes / living vicinities to bring them out and we shall embrace them

Call for learning Sign Language ((S.L)

We thereby encourage many people/Christians to enroll for basic Kenyan Sign Language(KSL) training course to learn and be able to communicate with the deaf both in and out of Parish.

Join us in celebrating Deaf Awareness Week 2023!


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