the International Week of the Deaf 2020

Image of briefing on Covid 19 from Center of Communication of Health

Daily Briefing on Covid 19 by CCEH

Did you know? This week marks the International Week of the Deaf! This year’s theme is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights” to unite in endorsement of the need to secure and promote the human rights of deaf people.

Since the early signs of the COVID-19 outbreak, and as one of the leaders in disability inclusion in Laos, the USAID Okard project has enhanced synergies between the National Operations Center for COVID-19 and the Center for Communication and Education for Health (CCEH) of the Ministry of Health, UN agencies, and national and international development partners to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to reliable information about COVID-19 on the same basis with others.

Furthermore, USAID Okard, in partnership with Hands of Hope Education Center for Hearing Impairment, added Lao sign language to all COVID-19 awareness videos produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (MoH), as well as videos about physical distancing and COVID-19 prevention. Additionally, some simple visual elements were added to ensure the messages are also understood by people with intellectual impairment.

Please click here to access to videos:

WHO COVID-19 with Lao sign translation

Sign language Physical distancing COVID-19

Sign language COVID-19 prevention

Presenting social distancing in Lao sign language

“Since the beginning of the epidemic, I have developed awareness messages in sign language to ensure that the 30 deaf children at the Hands of Hope Center receive accessible information on COVID-19,” said Ms. Sophaphone Heuanglath, director of Hands of Hope Education Center for Hearing Impairment. “When USAID Okard asked me to translate all MoH and WHO COVID-19 videos into sign language so that CIEH and others can broadcast them on social media, I directly accepted because I knew it would contribute to the idea of leaving no one behind during this public health crisis. I am glad to be a part of the disability inclusion force.”

USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by World Education, Inc., improves the systems to access quality healthcare, rehabilitation and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, while also engaging them in policy design and implementation.

For more detail about The International Week of the Deaf (IWD) 2020 please visit:

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