The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) is proud to be affiliated with the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) as an ordinary member. WFD is an umbrella organization providing a wide range of support and advocacy services for national Deaf Associations. It was established in 1951 during the first World Congress in Rome, Italy.
Today, the WFD continues to be an ever-expanding umbrella organization providing a wide range of support and advocacy services for 134 national associations of the Deaf, representing approximately 70 million deaf people worldwide. The mission of the WFD is to promote the human rights of deaf people and full, quality and equal access to all spheres of life, including self-determination, sign language, education, employment and community life. The philosophy of the WFD is one of equality, human rights, and respect for all people, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual preference, age and all other human qualities.
The WFD also provides a platform for global cooperation and information exchange among its members and partners. As an international non-governmental organization, the WFD has a special consultative status in the United Nations (UN) system, where it is represented at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WFD has participatory status with the Council of Europe (CoE), cooperates closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has representatives on the UN Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, and is a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).