September 21-27, 2014: Deaf Awareness Week

WHEREAS, Deaf Awareness Week was first celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. This event is also known as the International Week of the Deaf commemorating the first congress of the World Federation of the Deaf which took place in September 1951; and,

WHEREAS, at least 850,000 Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing individuals reside in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan benefits from the many contributions of Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing residents throughout the state; and,

WHEREAS, all of Michigan is enriched by the diverse and unique heritage, language and culture of the Deaf community; and,

WHEREAS, the purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to increase public awareness of the issues and the culture of people who are Deaf. The event is an opportunity to promote equal access to information and services for Deaf individuals and to educate the public about the misconceptions of being Deaf. It is also an opportunity to learn about the types of educational programs, support services, and resources available to Deaf people as well as individuals who are Deafblind or Hard of Hearing; and,

WHEREAS, we believe Michigan’s Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing individuals should have the same access to the many benefits and opportunities available to hearing individuals to live, work, play and communicate in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, the World Federation of the Deaf and the National Association of the Deaf encourage organizations and local communities to recognize Deaf Awareness Week through events that educate and bring the community together; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 21-27, 2014 as Deaf Awareness Week in Michigan.