The President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Colin Allen has written to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter to express his gratitude to FIFA for making the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ accessible to the deaf community. Highlights of every World Cup match were made available in International Sign (IS) on FIFA.com during the tournament, following pioneering coverage during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“FIFA has made a huge step in safeguarding deaf people’s right to receive information in sign language,” WFD President Allen wrote. “Therefore, the World Federation of the Deaf highly appreciated and values FIFA’s engagement to interpret the 2014 World Cup in International Signs for the second time, which enables the international Deaf Community to be a part of the football community and to enjoy watching this popular sport.
“We look forward to continue cooperation with FIFA to ensure deaf people’s access to information.”
The WFD represents approximately 70 million deaf people worldwide, and assist in making sign language available to deaf people, especially regarding matters of education and information.
The IS coverage on FIFA.com was one of a number of dedicated services for disabled fans during the 2014 World Cup. Special audio commentary was provided in four stadiums during the tournament, to enhance the experience for partially-sighted and blind fans, while all articles on FIFA.com could be listened to via a dedicated audio service on the website.
"Football is a universal sport and it must be accessible to everyone,” FIFA President Blatter said ahead of the summer’s festival of football.