The deaf movement in Nepal started in 1980 i.e. one year before the UN International Year of Disability 1981. It is the Kathmandu Association of the Deaf (KAD) firstly established deaf organization in Nepal that is being considered to be the first organization established by the people with Disabilities called Disabled People Organization (DPO). The 13 young deaf persons of Kathmandu (the first group of students graduated from the then education system of the Naxal School for the Deaf established the Deaf Development Club, which was later renamed the Deaf Welfare Association when the group applied for registry with the government in 1980. The name was again changed to the Kathmandu Association of the Deaf in 1988. Due to the prohibitory conditions posed by the existing Constitution that denied people with disabilities to organize and to register an organization, KAD continued to function without registering in the local authorities of Nepal. The registration was only possible after the restoration of democracy and promulgation of Interim Constitution 2047 (1990) in Nepal where KAD was registered in the Kathmandu District Administration Office (DAO) on 25th Ashadh 2047 (9th July 1990).


The registration of KAD and new democratic political environment guaranteed rights to unite and form an organization by people with disabilities on equal grounds to that of other citizens, the disability movement has started. As a result, different natured people with disabilities started to unite themselves and took initiatives to get registered as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)/DPO. In this connection, different deaf associations were also established in additional 7 districts, and by 1995, local deaf associations were established in Surkhet, Rupandehi, Kaski, Siraha, Morang,  Sunsari and Sindhupalchok districts. Having a total of 8 local deaf associations opened the window for the establishment of National Federation of the Deaf Nepal (NDFN). As a result NDFN was registered in the District Administration Office, Kathmandu in 1995 as an umbrella organization for the rights of deaf people in Nepal. With the policy of having a deaf association per district, NDFN has been facilitating the establishment of local deaf associations and their organizational development continuously. By the end of 2019, the number of local deaf associations affiliated with the NDFN has reached 46 where NDFN plans to cover all 77 districts.


First Deaf School established in Nepal   (1965)

First School for the Deaf was established as “Bahira Balak ko School-Kathmandu” in Naxal, Kathmandu. Along with 4 deaf schools were established in Surkhet, Bhairahawa, Saptari, and Dharan with the same name. The school in Kathmandu later changed its name to Central Deaf School and now running classes up to the Bachelor level.

First Deaf Association established in Nepal (1980)

Kathmandu Association of the Deaf is the first deaf association formally established in Nepal. The association was formally registered in the District Administrative office in 1990.

The first newsletter on Deaf Issue “Voices of Deaf” published (1986)

First Newsletter Bahria ko Awaj “Voice of Deaf” of Sign Language was published by Kathmandu Association of the Deaf.

First Sign Language Dictionary published (1988)

The association of the hearing impaired published the first NSL book.

Resource classes for deaf children were established by the Government of Nepal. (1990)

First Dictionary on Nepal Sign Language Published (Part 1, 2 and 3) (1994)

8 local deaf associations jointly established the National Federation of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NFDH) and later changed to the National Federation of the Deaf Nepal (NDFN) in 2012. Bheri Deaf Association (BDA), Birendranagar, Surkhet

Kathmandu Association of Deaf (KAD), Kathmandu, Lumbini Deaf Association (LDA), Bhairahawa, Gandaki Deaf Association (GAD), Pokhara, Kaski

Siraha Association of the Deaf (SAD), Siraha, Koshi Association of the Deaf (KAD), Biratnagar, Morang, Sunsari Association of the Deaf (SAD), Dharan, Sindhupalchok Association of the Deaf (SiAD), Bahrebise.

NDFN is affiliated with WFD(1996)

NDFN became a national member organization of the World Federation of the Deaf.

News in Nepali Sign Language was started to broadcast from Nepal Television once a week on every Saturday. (1997)

From 01 Feb 1997 NTV formally started sign Language News.

10th WFD RS A/P meeting was held in Kathmandu and the UN decade on Disability was widely celebrated. (1998)

NDFN organized the 10th WFD RS A/P meeting and observed the UN decade on Disability. WFD president Lisa Koupinken Visited Nepal for the first time.

All the different parts of NSL Dictionary were unified and NSL dictionary was published. (2003)

By the support of the British Embassy, Part 1,2  and 3 were unified and NSL dictionary was published.

NDFN representative became a board member of WFD RS A/P. (2003)

Mr. Raghav Bir Joshi Became member of the WFD RS A/P board member from 16th WFD  congress and meeting of WFD RS A/P held in Montreal, Canada in 2003. He serves for 4 years and later Rajendra Prasad Sharma became a member in 2007.

Deaf Children formally attended School leaving Certificate examination. (2006)

Srijana Deaf School, Pokhara got approval to run a secondary school, in 2006, deaf students from deaf school formally participated in the S.L.C. examination.

NDFN representative became the board member of WFD. (2007)

By then President of NDFN Mr. Bikash Dangol elected as a board member of WFD from the 17th World Congress of WFD held in Spain in 2007. Later by then, President Mr. Ramesh Lal Shrestha elected as a member of the WFD from 18th World congress held in South Africa.

20th WFD RS A/P meeting held in Pokhara, Nepal. (2008)

NDFN organized the 10th WFD Regional Secretariat meeting in Kathmandu. WFD president Markhu Yokinen visited Nepal for first time for this occasion.

Deaf persons became members of the Constituent Assembly and parliament. (2008) 

Mr. Raghav Bir Joshi Became a member of the parliament and constituent assembly. He served in the parliament for 5 years’ tenure and was instrumental in the ratification of the CRPD in 2009.

Deaf women elected as president of the NDFN (2011)

Mrs. Kalpana bajracharya became the first Deaf woman to become President of NDFN. She was elected president from the 6th General Convention held in Bhaktapur.

Supreme court verdict on providing the Driving license to the Deaf. (2014)

After long advocacy work, NDFN finally decided to file a petition against the Government of Nepal on discriminatory driving license act on 201…. after ..years the supreme court verdicts to provide the driving license to the deaf citizens by making appropriate amendments are acted but again it makes such amendments.

101th Board meeting of the WFD was held in Kathmandu. (2016)

The WFD board meeting was held in Kathmandu by the local management of the NDFN.

Mobile Application on NSL was developed. (2016)

Mobile Application on Sign Language was developed with 200+ basic signs videos.

Sign Language News broadcasted every day live at 6 pm from Avenues Television. (2016)

News on Sign Language has broadcasted a daily basis from @venues T.V. from 8th Oct 2016.

Sign Language word list of Jumli sign language was published. (2017)

Jumli Sign Language word list was published (author: Devendra Timilisina)

Advanced Level Sign Language Dictionary and Mobile App published including 4700 signs developed so far (2017)

Advanced Level Sign Langauge Dictionary and Mobile Apps based on Handshape was developed and published in support of the Australian Embassy in 2017.