Miss Deaf Philippines, anyone?

One of my super duper respected idols in deaf education here in the Philippines, Ma’am Julie Esguerra-Marvin sent our school an invitation to join a beauty contest spearheaded by her school, Philippine Institute for the Deaf (PID). I volunteered to post the invite poster in my blog. Here it is:

We would like to invite your DEAF BEAUTIES to join the 1st ever Miss Deaf Philippines on September 6 & 7, 2013 ! Please join us in the hope to empower today’s deaf women, and also to celebrate with us PID’s 25th Year Anniversary!

Miss Deaf Philippines promotional poster

What are you waiting for? If you are a Filipino Deaf who possesses beauty and brains, here is your chance to shine. You can show to the world that deafness is never a hindrance to achieving your dreams. The contest is open for 16-30 years old, high school deaf and must be in Manila during the pageant week. Email for registration form at missdeafphilippines@gmail.com. Deadline for registration is on August 16, 2013. 🙂

What Filipino Sign Language is NOT… a short video explanation

With the recent fuzz about Filipino Sign Language and the debate whether to support House Bill 6079 (Filipino Sign Language Act of 2012) or not, let us first have an open mind, understand what this language is and how it will empower the Filipino Deaf. We hearing people have been dominating deaf education since 1907. It’s high time that we let the Filipino Deaf people decide for themselves on what language to use in teaching them.

Here is a short video explaining what FSL is NOT. Peace! 🙂

Scientists translate sign language to text in pioneering phone software

All I can say to this is, WOW! 

This app will be available in iphone.

PIONEERING technology which translates sign language into text is being developed by Scottish scientists in a major boost for people suffering from speech and hearing difficulties.

 

The new software – the first of its kind in the world – has been developed for use on portable devices, such as smartphones, and will allow users to turn sign language into words. Users will even be able to customise the sign language to their own specific needs.

The Aberdeen University scientists behind the breakthrough claim the technology has the potential to transform how sign language users – from the profoundly deaf to those who have lost hearing in later life – will be able to communicate.

The Portable Sign Language Translator (PSLT ) has been developed by computing scientists at Technabling, a spin-out from Aberdeen University. The PSLT recognises sign language using a small camera which can be integrated in most mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet Pcs and netbooks, and then renders it as text displayed on the device’s main screen.

Dr Ernesto Compatangelo, a lecturer in computing science who is director of Technabling, said: “The aim of the technology is to empower sign language users by enabling them to overcome the communication challenges they can experience, through portable technology.

“The user signs into a standard camera integrated into a laptop, netbook, Smartphone or other portable device such as a tablet. Their signs are immediately translated into text which can be read by the person they are conversing with.

“The intent is to develop an application – an “app” in Smartphone terms – that is easily accessible and could be used on different devices.”

He said the PSLT technology had the potential to be used with a range of sign languages including British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton. More than 50,000 people with speech problems use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Dr Compatangelo said: “One of the most innovative and exciting aspects of the technology, is that it allows sign language users to actually develop their own signs for concepts and terms they need to have in their vocabulary, but they may not have been able to express easily when using BSL.”

The research is being funded by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to enhance the lives of deaf people with special emphasis in benefiting young people who are either in education or training.

A spokesman for Technabling said: “As a learning tool, the PSLT can be easily and effectively used by those who are learning to sign. So far, these learners needed a sign language expert in front of them to check that they were able to sign correctly. This is a problem, due to the scarce availability of sign language experts and to the consequent cost of such training.

“The PSLT can replace the human expert in many occasions, allowing learners to practice sign language whenever and wherever they like, driving costs substantially down.”

A university spokeswoman said: “Scientists on the project are now encouraging sign language users from Aberdeen city and shire to get in touch to become involved with its ongoing development. It is anticipated that the technology will be available as a product by next year.”

Repost from www.scotsman.com website.

Deaf Child Wants To Remain In Regular School

What’s the difference between a special school and a regular school? What are their impacts on the deaf learner? What is the success rate if your child is raised on a special school rather than a regular one? Here is the challenge faced by a mother on where she will place her deaf child. Read this article I reposted from Manila Bulletin.

Deaf Child Wants To Remain In Regular School

By TERESITA DE MESA
February 20, 2012, 1:26am

MANILA, Philippines — QUESTION I have a deaf child who is transferring from a regular school to a special school. I’m worried about her adjustment since she is used to interacting with hearing people, although she knows how to sign. She doesn’t like the idea and she wants to stay in her current school. I just wanted her to interact with other deaf children her age. The school has a lot of good programs suited for her. Am I making a right decision about this? Please help. – Worried Mom

TEACHER TESS SAYS: Two reasons are mentioned for your child’s transfer to a special school.  First, you want her to interact with other deaf children her age.

Referral for a special education evaluation is the first step in the process of determining if your child should receive special education services. The evaluation should examine all areas of suspected disability and provide a detailed description of your child’s educational needs.  The evaluation should answer these questions:

1. Does the child have a disability? What type?

2. Does the disability cause the child to be unable to progress effectively in regular  education?

3. Does the child have difficulties in coping up with the inclusive education requirements?

4. Does the child require specially designed instruction to make progress or does the child  require a related service or services in order to access the general curriculum?

5. Does the current school give the necessary services for the child?

The answer to each of these questions should be “yes”. Students cannot be determined eligible for special education just because they cannot learn academic skills or because they find difficulties in their socialization skills. Or when the reason is just like what you have mentioned in your query.

Second reason: The school has a lot of good programs suited for her.

Special education is specially designed instruction and related services that meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. The purpose of special education is to allow children/students with special needs to successfully develop their individual educational potential and talent(s). Along with providing services to these special learners, if necessary, services are provided to parents and teachers.

When your child transfers to a special education program, she will be aware that she is not in a regular classroom setting. You may discuss with her why she is going to a special school, its advantages  such as more teachers with specialization in teaching special students, more enjoyable activities, and more children who are like her.

As your child has openly shown her dislike for going to a special school, discuss your concerns and the purpose of why you think special education is appropriate for her.

The Philippine School for the Deaf is an excellent national school that offers a comprehensive special educational program specially designed for their eligible special students.  It has institutionalized a school-to-work transition and adult vocational education which assures students of academic, personality, socialization and career development programs for their community integration in the future.

Both of you may visit this school for her to see how she can make effective progress and develop her maximum potential and eventually be a productive, self-directed and fully participative and empowered member of the society.

So which school is right for your child?

You can answer this question based on your child’s particular, individualized needs. Ask what kind of setting wherein your child will learn best,  and at the same time maintain and keep in touch with her friends from the other school

Finally, be sincere and honest to yourself and your child about the real reason why school transfer is necessary. God bless!

ANC News Channel Talkback: Breaking the Silence, Hearing the Deaf

Please watch this complete and informative video of Abs-cbn’s ANC News channel where Rep. Teddy Casino, Author, Sign Language Inset For News Programs Act,Dr. Liza Martinez, Founder/Director, Philippine Deaf Resource Center, Nicky Templo-Perez, Dean, College of St. Benilde – School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and Macky Calbay, Representative of the Deaf Community were interviewed.

 

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