For the beginning of the International Week of Deaf People, which is this year marked from 18 to 24 September with a theme “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere”, HRH Crown Princess Katherine, together with the Royal Hearing Screening Committee, once again highlight the importance of raising awareness about the community of deaf people and serious challenges they face every day. Putting the special focus on the importance of early diagnosis at young ones, together with providing support and understanding, especially to children who are deaf and hard of hearing, is of the highest importance.

“So that it can be seen how great difference we can make in other people’s lives, and how we really can change them for the better, I would like to share with you this beautiful video, which was sent to me by our dear friend, Dr. Daniel Djuraskovic Megler, an American otorhinolaryngologist of Serbian origin, who has never forgotten his country, and who has been giving priceless advice to us. Thanks to him we can now see the reaction of deaf babies when they hear the voice of their parents for the first time, through fitted hearing aids. The innocent joy and the sincere smiles on the faces of these little angels say it all, and you can understand why I am so dedicated to this cause and inviting everybody to join.


Many deaf and hearing-impaired people are facing difficulties in their everyday lives, and unfortunately not only that but also various forms of discrimination. That needs to change, and we all must give our contribution. Each effort counts, and when we are united in doing good, we can achieve so much. Deafness is by itself hard and difficult, but with proper assistance and support, we can make life easier for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Many people are born with this disability, but if it is discovered timely and treated properly, the quality of their lives can be significantly increased. My Foundation and I have been making efforts and insisting for years to introduce mandatory hearing screening for newborns, so that, if it turns out that the baby has a hearing impairment, the healthcare system has an opportunity to react adequately and quickly. I believe that no newborn baby should leave the hospital without a three-minute test, to make sure that they do not have a hearing problem. I strongly believe that every hospital should have it and that parents must be encouraged so their children can take it, and that they can be certain that everything is all right”, said HRH Crown Princess on this occasion.

Video can be seen on LINK

The International Week of Deaf People is an annual event marked by the Global Deaf Community, to commemorate the month when the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf was first held. It is important to educate the wider public on issues that are of most importance to the deaf community and to address global problems. Also, this week is a great opportunity to express unity and solidarity and to reinforce the achievements of humanity. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries, and they use more than 300 different sign languages. In Serbia, more than 70,000 people use sign language as a fundamental way of communication. The legal recognition of national sign languages is an important step towards achieving basic human rights for all deaf people, and it allows greater awareness of deaf people’s linguistic and cultural rights.

Crown Princess Katherine and the Royal Hearing Screening Committee, whose founder is Her Royal Highness, appeal to the importance of using equipment for early diagnosis in all maternity hospitals, so that hearing problems can be noticed during the period when early intervention and proper treatments can provide more quality life. That is why Crown Princess Katherine decided to dedicate the next Charity event of the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization of Canada, on 14 October 2023 precisely to gathering funds for this important purpose.

Congenital bilateral hearing impairment and deafness, as well as deafness acquired in early childhood, lead to a decrease in the child’s emotional, social, and communicative development. In deaf and hard-of-hearing children, it must be carried out in the first few months of life, which enables the development and understanding of speech and avoids permanent consequences of deafness and hearing impairment.

The HRH Crown Princess Katherine Foundation is actively working on delivering hearing screening equipment to hospitals in Serbia and the Republic of Srpska. At the initiative of Crown Princess Katherine, with the support of the Royal Hearing Screening Committee, several donations were made in the previous period through the country, and it is continuing. With this significant equipment and the introduction of mandatory hearing screening for newborn babies, Crown Princess Katherine is trying to reduce the number of permanently deaf children in Serbia.

Also, in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Djuraskovic Megler and Ms. Ardis J. Gardella, President of The Holley Institute from Detroit, Michigan, the Foundation of HRH Crown Princess Katherine successfully organized trips for hearing impaired children to a special camp in Detroit, that brought new knowledge and experience not only for children, but also to Serbian teachers that accompanied them.

Source of the video: News Now, through Dr. Daniel Megler

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