International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) is an initiative of the WFD and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last full week of September to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held. IWDeaf is celebrated through various activities by respective Deaf Communities worldwide. These activities call for participation and involvement of various stakeholders including families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, and DPOs.
The IDSL has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to be celebrated annually on 23 September beginning in 2018. Members of the International Deaf Community gather together during this time to promote the status of sign languages and the rights of deaf people. Going forward, WFD will take the lead in promoting IDSL and IWDeaf one day of the week.