World Federation of the Deaf

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) is an international non-governmental organization that represents national associations of Deaf people. It has about 120 national members (affiliates) in addition to individual members and associates.

WFD logo
A logo of the WFD.

Its aim is to promote human rights of Deaf people worldwide on various issues from education to the rights to sign language, especially with the prioritized focus on the about 80% of Deaf people living in the developing countries. It closely works with the United Nations and other U.N. agencies, such as UNESCO and WHO. Its head office (legal seat) is located in Helsinki, Finland.

It was founded in September 1951 in Rome, Italy, at the first World Congress of the Deaf, hosted by an Italian association of the Deaf (Ente Nazionale Sordomuti or ENS). Ever since, the Congress has been hosted every four years in different host countries.

WFDYS logo
A logo of the WFDYS.

The WFD has a branch of its youth, the WFD Youth Section (WFDYS) which was formed in 1995 in Austria at the WFD World Congress of the Deaf.

Its responsibilities involve WFD Children Camps for age 10 to 12, WFD Junior Youth Camps for age 13 to 17 and WFD Youth Camps for age 18 to 30. All of these camps are hosted every four years. The objectives of the camps are to provide leadership training for deaf youth, support for youth organizations and advocacy, networking, and cultural exchange.


World Federation of the Deaf: an official website.

World Federation of the Deaf Youth Sections (WFDYS).

You may also be interested in United Nations that WFD works with.

Also see International Week of the Deaf.

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