September 23 is the International Day of Sign Languages - post

September 23 is the International Day of Sign Languages

The International Day of Sign Languages is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.

The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The International Day of Sign Languages was first celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.

Early childhood educators can observe the International Day of Sign Languages with children by integrating American Sign language into their teaching practices.

Children as early as four to six months can be introduced to signs.  Teaching ASL during infancy helps build strong communication as children get older. There are several reasons why using sign language and English simultaneously provides a much richer language base of brain activity and brain growth and development, such as visual, movement, meaning, play, and hand. The visual aspect of sign language has a close link to brain growth and memory.

An educator's first step to integrating American Sign Language (ASL) into their teaching practices is to introduce three to five words in ASL into their daily routines and activities. 

Highlight targeted words that you would like to emphasize in your curriculum. For instance, if you were studying a farm unit you would want to emphasize the farm animal words in ASL to support children's learning.

H&H Child Care Training Center offers several courses that support educators in their work with young children. Courses range from supporting social-emotional development to creating a culturally competent classroom environment. Visit our website to see a full list of course offerings.


Nations, U. (2022). International Day of Sign Languages | United Nations. Retrieved 6 September 2022, from

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