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Welcome from the President of World of the.

Australian Sign Language

International Sign

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!

Warm regards

Colin Allen  

Colin Allen
World of the

Welcome from the Chairperson of the Organising Committee.

Australian Sign Language

International Sign

Hello! As Chair of the Organising Committee of the 2nd International Conference of the World of the, I am pleased to be able to tell you that all is going well for preparations for the conference. The more work we do, the more we generate fantastic ideas which we will make a reality to ensure this is a fascinating conference.

The theme of the conference is "Equality for Deaf People". I invite you to submit abstracts for presentations around this theme. I am sure we all know what deaf people are missing in their lives in terms of access to the world around us and how that affects our equality. The conference will be an opportunity to look at that and think about the continuing work we must do to make equality a reality. There is also an opportunity here for us to dream of the future and what equality might look like for us. I am excited by that.

DSNSW is pleased to host this exciting international event, the first time it will be held in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the first time an international deaf event has been held in Sydney. The WFD Congress was held in Brisbane in 1999 and the Deaflympics in Melbourne in 2005 and now the 2nd International Conference of the World of the in Sydney. DSNSW is also turning 100 at the same time so we are planning some great celebratory events which will happen after the conference. Please have a look at our preliminary program for more details.

We expect up to 800 people to attend from all over the world. The conference will attract a wide range of people from the international Deaf Community and not just deaf people. There will be interpreters, professionals who work with deaf people, parents and family of deaf people, Australian government officials, educators, academics and researchers, policy and law makers, community groups and people who are passionate about equality and what that means for us all.

We invite you to come and be part of this exciting event in our beautiful Sydney, one of the most impressive cities in the world.

In anticipation of equality.

Kate Matairavula  

Kate Matairavula
Chairperson of the Organising Committee


Latest News

Conference Proceedings

The Conference Proceedings are now available! These have been produced by Bradley Reporting who sponsored the live captions at the Conference. Thank you Bradley Reporting. The Proceedings are made up of the official transcripts from each presentation. The Conference Proceedings can be downloaded here.

Conference Proceedings DVD

Did you miss any of the session of the Conference? Maybe you would like to share your experience of the Conference with others? Or maybe you would like a memento to keep?

A DVD of the 2nd International Conference of the World of the is now available. The DVD is available in either Auslan or International Sign. To purchase your DVD please complete the order form and return to the Conference Organisers. DVDs must be purchased prior to Friday, 29 November 2013.

The DVD will include:

  • Presentations of all sessions
  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Highlights of the Welcome Reception
  • Highlights of the Conference Dinner


View the official conference webcast.

Sponsored by the Australian Communication Exchange (ACE), the conference webcast gives access to the main conference sessions by streaming video of the speakers and interpreters with English captions.

To view the free webcast, visit: www.aceinfo.net.au/WFDconference



Sydney Australia


Wesley Conference Centre



The Conference Organising Committee gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor:

Family and community Services

Bronze Sponsors:



Contact Information


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