On this second part of the Deaf Awareness Week posts (part one), we bring you a perspective on education for the deaf, and the different challenges it implies. First, from the Central African Republic, a school that after funds stopped, has continued fueled only by love. Second, from the Philippines, deaf students created and produced a video showcasing the struggles many of them face after they graduate. In Venezuela, teachers for the deaf explain the importance of a bilingual and bi-cultural education. And finally, a visual example of how different sign languages from two countries can be.
This first video from the Central African Republic, documents the plight their only deaf school is facing: they are down to two teachers working out of love, since they haven't been paid their salary for 4 years, and they are in dire need of supplies and books. This video is in African Sign Language with English subtitles.
The Humanitarian and Development Partnership team of the Central African Republic is the non-profit organization which produced and posted this video. On their blog, they point out what the needs of this school are, according to its principal: salaries, materials, teacher training, busing, more schools for the deaf and vocational training for older students. Information about how to contact this organization to help this school can be found here.
From the Philippines, the Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf provides training in computer skills for their students, preparing them for the job market as well as they can, however, as can be seen in this video which they produced and directed themselves, they face frustration and lack of job opportunities once they get out of school. The video is in Filipino Sign Language with English subtitles:
Venezuela also provides specialized education for the deaf population, and in this video, school staff explain how they go around teaching deaf children who may also suffer from cognitive deficiencies in what they call a bilingual environment. There, students are taught in Sign Language as their first language and in Spanish as their second language, which will hopefully enable them to integrate themselves better to the rest of the hearing community. One of the teachers explains how she doesn't consider incorrect verb usage in homework as a mistake, but as an opportunity to explain to the students that people who hear, use verbs in different manners and they should also learn how to express themselves appropriately when communicating with them. The video is in Venezuelan Sign Language and Spanish.