The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) represents the United States at the General Assembly and World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), which convenes every four years. The WFD is an international organization composed of 130 national associations of the deaf that, in collaboration with the United Nations, advances the human rights of deaf people worldwide.
In 2007, the NAD sent three representatives to the WFD Youth Camp in Segovia, Spain, who also attended the WFD World Congress in Madrid, Spain. In addition, the NAD presented a donation of $25,000 to the WFD at the World Congress, to support human rights training efforts. This contribution was made possible by Bernard Bragg through his Theatre in the Sky national tour, which also benefited the NAD.
The next WFD World Congress will be held in Durban, South Africa, July 14-24, 2011.
In concert with the WFD, the NAD strongly supports U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international treaty to recognize the sign languages, linguistic human rights, linguistic identity, and culture of deaf people.
The NAD promotes the annual International Week of the Deaf (also called Deaf Awareness Week), initiated by the WFD, during the last full week in September to celebrate the culture, heritage, and language unique to deaf people of the world. The NAD also engages in “Celebrate ASL!” events in annual observance of WFD International Day of Sign Languages, with support of local communities nationwide.