When you don't know where to start in finding Deaf organizations in the country you need
Sometimes international organizations or governments want to consult local Deaf organizations in countries where they work. Or parents, teachers, and others want to ask local Deaf organizations where they can take sign language classes. The following advice may help you with finding local Deaf organizations. These focus on Deaf-led organizations. These are organizations in which most key leaders or board members are Deaf.
From International to National
- Begin at the top. The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) has member organizations in more than 130 countries. Member organizations are usually national associations of the Deaf. Consult the WFD membership page to find a complete listing. See if your country is listed.
- If your country does not have a WFD member organization, try communicating with the WFD Regional Secretariat for your region. They might know of Deaf organizations in the country even if none are WFD member organizations. Also try communicating with WFD member organizations in neighboring countries.
From National to Local
- If your national association has a website, explore it. It may have a page with contact information for local organizations.
- If the national association has no website then email them or use postal mail. Ask for their guidance in finding local Deaf organizations in your part of the country.
- The World Federation of the Deaf, its member organizations, and affiliate local organizations, focus on Deaf people who sign. If your needs focus on this community, then this may be the perfect fit.
- But if you also need to connect with people who do not sign, then you want to find their organizations too.
Non-Signing Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened People
- Start with the International Federation of the Hard of Hearing (IFHOH). The IFHOH membership page lists some member organizations. Most are in Europe or Asia, a few are elsewhere. For organizations with a web link, you will need to copy/paste the link into your browser. IFHOH does not provide alternate contact information for organizations without a web site.
Visit our page on Finding DeafBlind Organizations. These organizations may be helpful in considering how to make your programs and activities inclusive of DeafBlind people within your local Deaf community.
The World Federation of the Deaf website is accessible for Deaf people. Most information is in written English, but some information is also provided in international sign language. Their website is partly accessible for people using screen reading software, but with some difficulty. Images use alternate text to describe them for people who cannot see images. However, web links are not tagged so that screen reading software can say where they lead.
The International Federation of the Hard of Hearing website is accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is also mostly accessible for people using screen reading software.