BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Leaders in buffalo kicked off Deaf Awareness Week Monday.

A special flag-raising ceremony was held in Niagara Square with Deaf Access Services, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and other organizations.

The week celebrates the contributions made by Buffalo’s deaf community.

It also encourages people and organizations to be more inclusive to those with hearing disabilities.

“Providing interpreters to a lot of your events and captioning your T.V. commercials, movies, everything you can think of — that will not only benefit the deaf community but it will benefit everyone,” said a speaker at the ceremony.

Around one in every 20 Americans is currently deaf or hard of hearing.