Australian Sign Language
To our national, regional and international friends and the worldwide Deaf Community,
The Deaf Society of New South Wales (DSNSW) will be hosting the next World of the (WFD) conference in Sydney, Australia in October 2013, and as the President of the WFD, a member of DSNSW Executive Team and as an Australian it is a triple pleasure for me to welcome all WFD members and friends to join the conference. The preparations in Sydney are running at full speed to ensure that this will be a successful and memorable event. Last time Australia hosted a WFD event was in 1999 in Brisbane where the WFD World Congress was held. This is however the first time an international deaf event is being organised in Sydney and it is again with great pride that Australia is welcoming the global deaf community to our country.
At the same time that I am writing this, our teams are working hard to get Sydney ready to host hundreds of people from all over the world. The conference is perfectly oriented to attract not only deaf people – indeed, we hope to welcome parents and families of deaf people, interpreters, different professionals who work with deaf people and government officials. The conference programme is currently being finalised and the call for presentation abstracts is now open. I encourage those of you who wish to take part as presenters in any of these events to send your abstracts as early as possible.
The theme for the conference is "Equality for Deaf People" and WFD encourages you, our national, regional and international friends, to immerse yourselves in the topic by attending various presentations, discussions and different side events. We all have our own experiences from our local contexts and this will be an excellent opportunity to share and discuss how to continue our important work to achieve equality for deaf people based on the international treaty - United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This conference, organised in cooperation with the WFD, will be an excellent opportunity for WFD members from across the globe, but especially from the Asia and Pacific region. It will be an opportunity for different organisations and communities in the region to come together to share experiences in education and accessibility and learn from each other but also to meet and share information. Indeed, I am positive that having a WFD International Conference for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere will attract those Asian and Pacific countries that have not been able to participate in WFD events before due to long distances and expense.
Hosting the International Conference of the WFD in Sydney happens to coincide with the DSNSW's 100th anniversary celebrations. What could be a better way to celebrate 100 years of work for the good of deaf people than to invite our deaf friends from around the world to join us?
Thus I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you all to start making your travel plans so that we can all come together to create an unforgettable experience – and naturally also for you to visit our beautiful country!
World of the