About the theme

Each year the theme is chosen by the World Federation of the Deaf and all country members are encouraged to celebrate International Week of Deaf People in September. 

Here in Australia, we do things a bit differently - mainly because of our strong sporting heritage. September is known as the Finals Month! Everybody is excited and occupied with AFL and NRL finals so we celebrate National Week of Deaf people in mid-October every year. 

This year the theme is "Full inclusion with sign language!" - Deaf Australia has modified this theme to suit the Australian community - changing the word Sign Language to Auslan. 


With this theme, the key focus is on..

  • With Auslan, I am Equal!.... draws upon the principle of basic human rights in relation to Auslan (Australian Sign Language) for deaf people to effectively participate as an active member of the Australian community. It is about recognising deaf individuals as primarily visual beings belonging to a linguistic minority (deaf community) and call for Auslan to be recognised and be available for deaf persons at all stages of life, including from birth.
  • With Auslan, I am Equal!... aims 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 Australian Community.
  • With Auslan, I am Equal!... strives to promote the human rights of deaf people and highlights topics that merit attention.
  • With Auslan, I am Equal!... aims to call for unity from rest of Australian Community through consistent coordinated and widespread mobilisations to ensure that the campaign and activities are visible through sufficient media coverage. 
Full inclusion with sign language!

Key messages from the campaign of International Week of Deaf People

Past themes have included:
  • 2004 - Celebrating out International Deaf Community
  • 2005 - Deaf People and Financial Access
  • 2006 - Celebrating the Australian Deaf Community
  • 2007 - Communicate IT
  • 2008 - Living Auslan - Protecting the language of Deaf Community
  • 2009 - Year of Reconciliation: Bringing us all together
  • 2010 - Rapprochement of Cultures
  • 2011 - From little things - Big things grow
  • 2012 - Sign Bilingualism is a Human Right
  • 2013 - Equality for Deaf People
  • 2014 - Strengthening Human Diversity
  • 2015 - With Auslan Rights, Deaf Children Can
  • 2016 - With Auslan, I am equal!