President Roberta Cordano, Dean Khadijat Rashid, and ASL and Deaf Studies faculty member Tawny Holmes present at the WFD’s 2019 XVIII World Congress.

The 2019 XVIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), held in Paris, France, July 23 to 27, was of great significance not only to the 2,536 participants from 137 countries who attended, but in strengthening Gallaudet University’s relationship with the WFD. 

The most conclusive result was the signing of a cooperative agreement between the two influential bodies that expresses a shared commitment to the advancement of Deaf people globally. The agreement, which was signed by Gallaudet President Roberta Cordano and outgoing and incoming WFD presidents Colin Allen and Dr. Joseph Murray, respectively, the latter a professor in Gallaudet’s ASL and Deaf Studies Program, Gallaudet, will connect the international government visitors it receives to WFD member associations, and WFD will offer learning opportunities to Gallaudet students. The University and WFD will also partner to promote matters of mutual importance for Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind people, such as a bilingual lifelong education, support for national sign languages, and the right to economic opportunity. 

Cordano made history by being the first Gallaudet president to give the  keynote presentation at the World Congress’ Opening Ceremony in International Sign. The Congress also proved to be an opportune venue for Gallaudet to host workshops with African delegates about the Gallaudet in Nigeria-Africa (GAIN) project that will bring opportunities for education and job training to Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind Nigerians and others, meet with organizations who seek partnership opportunities with Gallaudet, and share general information about the University. In addition, a number of timely topics that are of interest to the global Deaf community were addressed by experts from the Gallaudet community in presentations and poster sessions:

  • manager, digital innovation and media strategy, Visual Language and Visual Research Center -- Strengthening Deaf Communities Through Sign Language Literacy
  • , manager, Knowledge Translation Center -- Sign Language Endangerment: A Case Study of Quebeckers Sign Language
  • presidentassistant professor, ASL and Deaf Studies; and , dean, School of Education, Business, and Human Services -- Beyond Sign Language Recognition: Building a Signing-based Learning Global Economy
  • research assistant, World Languages and Cultures -- Ethical Concerns of Sign Language Work with the Deaf Communities: One Deaf Iranian Man’s Journey from Researched to Researcher

  • , coordinator, Training Products and Dissemination -- Community Accountability in our Deaf Community: How We Can Support Hearing Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children by Sharing Personal #whyisign Stories in Our Native Sign Languages
  • , dean, College of Arts and Sciences -- Towards a New Paradigm within the Deaf Studies Field: Introducing Deaf Crits
  • , assistant professor, ASL and Deaf Studies -- Deaf Tourist Practices in Bali and Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • , associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Center, and , a graduate student at the center -- Moving from Research to Practice: Making Patient Reported Outcomes Measure Accessible in Signed Languages for Deaf People

Additional support was provided by , chief of staff, and , special assistant, Office of the President; , GAIN project officer; and , lecturer and co-advisor, International Studies Program.

 


WFD Flag
WFD Flag

Incoming WFD President Joseph Murray greets the crowd.

Incoming WFD President Joseph Murray greets the crowd.

 Heather Harker, chief of staff in Gallaudet’s Office of the President, shares information about the University with a WFD Congress attendee.

Heather Harker, chief of staff in Gallaudet’s Office of the President, shares information about the University with a WFD Congress attendee.