Sign language in curriculum urged
This is again a repost from Manila Bulletin. It seems that the government, or at least the House of Representatives, took notice about the dilemma of educating the Filipino deaf. 🙂
By BEN R. ROSARIODecember 11, 2011, 4:37pm
MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker Sunday urged government to include sign language studies in the elementary education curriculum to make communications more accessible to some four million hearing impaired (HI) Filipinos.
Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon Partylist) stressed that proficiency in sign language will also give young Filipinos an edge in actively participating in revolutionary information and com-munications technology (ICT) aimed at bridging the communications gap that has disadvantaged hundreds of millions of HI individuals throughout the world.
Herrera-Dy addressed the appeal to the Department of Education (Deped) shortly after keynoting the recent launching ceremonies for the Signals for Hand and Oral Understanding Training (SHOUT) program in Quezon City.
The lady solon explained that the SHOUT program, a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Quirino-QC, has piloted a sign language training for ordinary elementary school students at the Batino Elementary School in Project 2, Quezon City which also conducts regular special education classes for HI students.
Jointly sponsored by the RCQQC and BH Partylist with the cooperation of the Division of Quezon City Schools, the SHOUT program has initially enrolled 25 Grade IV and V students to learn the sign language and allow them to communicate with HI students of the school.
“With this project, we hope to widen an HI individual’s sphere of communications which current limited to their fellow HI’s and their relatives,” explained Herrera-Dy.
The partylist solon revealed that the SHOUT program will complement the Video Relay Service (Call Center) Training Program that her partylist organization launched in Makati last August.
She pointed out that the VRS has been developed by a leading ICT firm to help persons suffering hearing and speech difficulties communicate normally with other people.
The VRS includes sign language proficiency training and video relay computer program education, which are the main components of call center services for the deaf.
Herrera-Dy noted that VRS centers have started mushrooming in the United States and other countries that have strong government programs for persons with disabilities.
She also cited the RCQQC headed by Gil Basco and Batino principal July Villapa for supporting the project.
There are efforts to integrate the deaf community into the mainstream of Philippine society. The goal is to empower them and urge them to be productive citizens. At the same time, they are taught skills to help them with their daily survival.
The Ascension of Our Lord Parish Church, in Lagro, Quezon City is offering Basic Sign Language course, a three-month course which has 12 sessions. Each session, held every Sunday, runs for four hours, with a total of 48 class hours. Part of the course is another 24 hours of exposure that will be required from each of the students which they will earn during church visits.
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