Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Deaf Awareness and Human Rights: A Journey

Several years ago, thousands of people were hungry to know about what its like to be deaf. The School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde's program started to advocate a Deaf awareness and human rights seminar based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is related to the SDEAS's mission: to nurture among Deaf and hearing people the understanding and appreciation of the unique history and culture of the Deaf community.

Even in the other parts of the world, Deaf leader-advocates and educators share the same important information of Deaf Awareness and Human Rights. SDEAS's journey began working with universities and medical schools, organizations, governments, companies and businesses in the Metro Manila. 

From outside Metro Manila, we were happy to invite the speaker of Deaf awareness and UNCRPD seminar in Rizal through Tahanang Walang Hagdan, Inc. This program and orientation was shared to parents of children with disabilities.

Recently, we've invited to the said activity the parents of deaf children and government employees, staff, and sectors through Mirana Medina, Independent Advocacy Film and campaign for Filipino Sign Language films, her nephew Hon. Jose Angelo Dominguez, Municipal Mayor, Castellijos, Zambales, and his wife, who organized this program last January 22, 2014, a whole day for helping the members of Zambales government to understand the meaning of Deaf.


Leah Osido, a Deaf Facilitator, shared some inspiration regarding Deaf awareness to 102 various participants using sign language which was voice interpreted by Giselle Montero. We explained to them how it is perceived as a positive advantage the way deaf people interact and bridge communication with the hearing world. 

We also taught how to communicate using the Deaf and Filipino Sign Language words to the parents of deaf children and government sectors and staff. Even if they had a hard time in practicing the hand spelling, they enjoyed learning in the FSL activity.


The event was not only about awareness because Mackie Calbay, a Deaf Facilitator, also gave a seminar on human rights advocate which is called the UNCRPD. It helped them understand why Deaf's needs are important and how the environment sector and local government can support the accessibility of the Deaf and PWDs to the society to make their lives better. 

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward

While Leah taught the basic alphabet, sign language, name and identity, she also enjoyed a Filipino game with deaf children and the expression of deaf children's life stories. "Teach to learn, Learn to teach." ~ Anonymous

After the seminar, the open forum received many questions from participants, especially from parents of deaf children, about how deaf children can reach the success of the Deaf and what can parents do to support their deaf children and to give them better education. 


It is not only the Deaf leaders who inspired the deaf children, but the deaf children also inspired the Deaf leaders to follow that dream. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch


Happy picture with Hon. Jose Angelo M. Dominguez, Castillejos, Zambales, parents of deaf children, teacher and the community.

Article by: Mackie Calbay
Deaf Advocacy Coordinator
Edited by: Marina Viktoria De Los Reyes

No comments: