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International Week of the Deaf Event sponsored by ODF in Hamilton,
September 26, 2019: Pictures

Donna Fano, author of Alice the Endearing Deaf Dog, presented the story of Alice to the entire student body at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School. This presentation was a part of the International Week of the Deaf activities that were financially supported by the Deaf Hamilton Community Fund.

This event was well received as Ms. Lidia Sardo, specialist teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB), reports:

"It was a fabulous presentation and it worked out so well. The children and staff loved it :) They had many questions and found the story about Alice interesting and informative. It created great awareness for our hard of hearing students at that school. Many wanted to order books.”

Photo Credits: Lidia Sardo, HWCDSB.

Please take a few moments to read the Report from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School about the meaning of the International Week of the Deaf found below the pictures.

International Week of the Deaf International Week of the Deaf International Week of the Deaf International Week of the Deaf International Week of the Deaf

The Report from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School

International Week of the Deaf International Week of the Deaf

International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) is an initiative of the WFD (The World Federation of the Deaf). It was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. WFD is currently located in Finland. It is celebrated annually and globally by the 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. This year IWDeaf is being celebrated from September 23 to September 29, 2019.

The goal of IWD is to make Deaf and hearing people aware of its efforts to ensure equal rights for 70 million people around the world. WFD promotes a different theme every year.

This year’s theme is Sign Language Rights for All. International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and will be celebrated annually on 23 September beginning in 2018. The objective of the IDSL is to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status about sign languages.

Deaf schools in Ontario have been participating in the events by having presentations and activities for students to increase their awareness of their rights. ODF (Ontario Deaf Foundations) is promoting IWD. One of the activities is a presentation about Alice a Deaf dog who lived on campus of the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville during the 1970s. Donna Fano, the author of the book Alice the Endearing Deaf Dog presented Alice’s story to the staff and students of Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was an informative and entertaining presentation that was enjoyed by all. Everyone learned more about IWD, Alice’s life and her famous owners (Canadian Wildlife writer Farley Mowat and his wife Claire), and some sign language.

Thank you to Mr. Colella and his staff and students who graciously welcomed Donna and her ASL-English interpreters into their school. Many personal connections and a greater understanding for the Deaf were made during this event.