World Federation of the Deaf
Light House, Ilkantie 4,
Haaga, Helsinki
+358 9 580 3573
Multi-stakeholder Organization

Thematic Areas

Print, Broadcast, Telecommunication, Internet, Recorded Media
Access, Inclusion and Participation, Diversity and Pluralism, Information, Communication and Expression Rights, Social Justice & Democracy
Content, Governance, Uses
Specific Themes: 
Specific Themes: 
Digital access for people with disabilities


Established in Rome, Italy, in 1951, WFD is an international, non-governmental central organisation of national associations of Deaf people, with a current membership of associations in 133 countries worldwide. Associate members, international members and individual members also make up WFD’s membership base.
WFD provides expert advice on Deaf issues in its relationship with other international organisations and professional groups.

WFD has consultative status in the United Nations (UN) system, including the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the International Labour Organization (ILO); and the World Health Organization (WHO). WFD also co-operates closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has representatives on the Panel of Experts on the UN Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. WFD is a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

When necessary, WFD uses special, legal or administrative measures to ensure that Deaf people in every country have the right to preserve their own sign languages, organisations, and cultural and other activities. Most important among WFD priorities are Deaf people in developing countries; the right to sign language; and equal opportunity in all spheres of life, including access to education and information.

Created by: Rosemary Curtis