CFA celebrates International Day of Sign Languages

Member News image Using the sign for ‘fire’ to a person who is deaf


Today is the third annual International Day of Sign Languages, an opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.


The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf.

It has been recognised annually since 2018, as part of the International Week of the Deaf, which was first celebrated in September 1958. It has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity and concerted advocacy to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their everyday lives.

In an emergency, there is a chance that you may come across a community member who is deaf or hard of hearing, who may use sign language to communicate.

In Australia, the most commonly used sign language among those who are deaf or hard of hearing is Auslan. There are some fantastic resources available to help you learn some basic Auslan that may assist you in an emergency.

The Auslan Signbank contains thousands of signs that may be useful in an emergency, including fire, flood, emergency and firefighter.

You can also find out more information and resources on the Expression Australia website.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan has appeared in a video for The Deaf Society, featuring leaders from across Australia celebrating International Week of the Deaf. Watch below.


Submitted by CFA News & Media