International Week of the Deaf is celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and its national associations and their affiliates globally during the last full week of September (Monday through Sunday), culminating with International Day of the Deaf on the last Sunday of the week. The National Institute of Health estimates that 10 million people are Hard-of-Hearing, while one million individuals are Deaf.
According to Silent Blessings Deaf Ministries, less than five percent of churches in the United States have Deaf ministries — and even fewer have ministries that are age appropriate. The Deaf community is the largest unreached people group in North America, with only two to four percent of Deaf individuals identifying as Christian. For hearing congregations, it is important to note that it is not a week to minister to the Deaf community. Rather, it is a time where hearing congregations can minister with the Deaf community.
Here are some resources for more information on the Deaf community, Deaf Culture, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and much more!
ASL manual alphabet:
Deaf etiquette: www.theabilitycenter.org/docs/Deafetiquette.pdf
Working with an interpreter: www.dcf.state.fl.us/facilities/fsh/docs/HHSInter.pdf
Definitions of Deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, and Deaf-blind people: https://www.nad.org/resources/american-sign-language/community-andculture-frequently-asked-questions/
National Association of the Deaf: https://www.nad.org/
American Disabilities Act: https://www.ada.gov/
Hearing Loss Association of America: https://www.hearingloss.org/
Information taken from The United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries Email, from the Baltimore-Washington Conference.