Going the Deaf way or stick with the hearing world?

I recently came across a blog post enumerating the Pros and Cons of Being Hard of Hearing. It was an interesting read so I posted it in my Facebook wall. A late deafened FB friend and a professional photojournalist Raphael Torralba took notice of that link and re-posted it in a prominent Yahoo group for Persons With Disabilities in the Philippines. As far as I can remember, he is still struggling with his signing skills.
A few comments and sentiments were given in response to his post. Some even connected this with difficulty in employment among deaf people, heavily dependent on sign language interpreters, a great scarcity of competent interpreters and the need for the deaf to develop lipreading skills in order to “cope up” with the hearing world. One commenter even challenged the Filipino Deaf community to “speak up” and “think of innovative ways to cope up with their disability”.
They are all true. That’s the reality. But then again, a more underlying question must be asked. If a person became deaf at a later age, should he stick with the hearing world, or go the Deaf way? 
At MCCID, we have a new student who is a late deafened. She was already in her third year college when her hearing suddenly deteriorated which according to her mom, has no idea how it came about. Since she is new to signing, she can only talk. So it’s hard to communicate with her even with her family. She can’t sign but she can’t hear my voice either. She can talk but she can’t lipread very well. So she is neither here nor there.
She became deaf only about a couple of years ago. But she has a very strong will and determination to succeed. Her favorite book is the “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. She has been with the deaf world only since June and she is adjusting slowly. Everybody surrounding her (her deaf classmates) are doing their best to communicate with her. It is I who is having tremendous effort to go through with her. I am always at quandary whether to sign or to talk. I am used to signing with my mouth closed in order to focus more on the essence of my thoughts. But since she is still grasping for signs, I have to mouth every words. Shouting is of no use since she’s totally deaf. This is very frustrating both for me and her.
So I encouraged her to improve her signing skills and at the same time rely on gestures or manual movement in order for her to understand the instructions (which is actually the purpose of sign language). Every time she wants to say something to me, she talks. But I refrained her from doing that. Instead, I encouraged her to practice her signing so that she can easily understand us. I believe that she must embrace who she is now. She is a deaf person. She must live with this predicament and find a way to survive with it.
I did not ask her to completely forget about speaking. MCCID hired her to do part time office work. Since our School Registrar and President only knows a few signs and relies heavily on speech, then she must talk to them. This proves to be a win-win situation for her.
Am I doing the right thing? That I can’t answer right now. She is still a work in progress. But only time will tell. 🙂

Milestones of Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf

As part of our MCCID’s month long 18th Anniversary, I have compiled a 10 minute video about the school’s successes. These are highlighted based on actual TV interviews done inside the school premises from 1993 to 2011 starting at Studio 23 (2003) taken at old MCCID building in Manila, ABS-CBN (2008) taken at MCCID building in Quezon City and finally in GMA-7 (2011) taken at new permanent home in San Mateo, Rizal.

This was shown during 18th Founding Day at Luyong Restaurant Marikina City on October 14, 2011. This video is also the 70th Youtube upload under MCCID Channel. Happy 18th Founding day to us. 🙂

PRC vows reforms in aid of Deaf Licensure Exam for Teachers takers

PRESS RELEASE

October 18, 2011

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has committed to implementing reforms that will make the licensing examination for teachers more accessible to the Deaf.

In a dialogue with various organizations of the Deaf last Tuesday, PRC Chairperson Teresita R. Manzala vowed that such reforms would be in place when the Licensure Examination for Teachers is administered in March 2012.

The dialogue was facilitated by ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio. The participants included leaders of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf led by its President, Rey Lee; Philippine Deaf Resource Center Executive Director Dr. Liza Martinez; Dean Nikki Perez of the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde; and Raphael Domingo of the Philippine Coalition-UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

PRC Chairperson Manzala was joined by Board for Professional Teachers Chairperson Dr. Faith M. Bachiller, and Director Amelia T. Empaynado of the Licensure Office.

The deaf activists and advocates raised concerns regarding the accessibility of the LET for deaf education graduates. According to them, Deaf education graduates find it difficult to pass the LET due to lack of sensitivity to the particular needs of Deaf takers. They pointed out the acute shortage of deaf teachers in the public school system’s Special Education centers, which can be filled if measures for the “reasonable accommodation” of deaf LET takers are taken by the PRC.

The PRC vowed to implement “transitional measures” for the upcoming LET in March 2012, such as allowing accredited interpreters to explain examination instructions in sign language and making changes to the physical arrangements to accommodate deaf exam takers. The Board of Professional Teachers will also work in close consultation with the Deaf community to craft better policies, including the drafting of a new PRC resolution regarding accessibility for the Deaf.

“We commend the PRC for their openness to the concerns of the Deaf. We thank PRC Chairperson Manzala for her personal commitment that reforms will be implemented by March 2012,” said Rep. Tinio. #

References:

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)

Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)

Repost from the Official Website of Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party.

List of Catholic Churches with Signed Mass and Catechism

Comic Strip from MCCID
Comic Strip from MCCID

Good day to all our Filipino Catholic Deaf friends out there. Here is a list of Catholic churches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces with Holy Mass and Catechism having sign language interpreters. The list is courtesy of Catholic Deaf Care. Happy 18th Anniversary to MCCID College and Happy Church SunDay everyone. 🙂

1. ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL
Antipolo Parish
Sunday 9-10am Holy Mass

2. IMUS, CAVITE
Imus Cathedral
Sunday 9-10am

3. MANILA

a. BLUMENTRITT
San Roque of Manila Parish
Sunday 9-10am Holy Mass
10-11am Catechism

b. College of St. Benilde
Manila
2-3pm Holy Mass

c. Archdiocesan Shrine of our Lady of Loreto Parish, Sampaloc
Sunday 10-11am Holy Mass
11-12 Catechism

d. San Fernando de Dilao Parish Paco
Sunday 9-10am Holy Mass
10-11am Catechism

e. Holy Trinity Parish
Sunday 4-530pm Catechism
6-7pm Holy Mass

f. Sto. Nino de Tondo Parish Tondo
Sunday 4-530pm Catechism
6-7pm Holy Mass

4. MANDALUYONG CTY

a. EDSA Shrine
Sunday —-

b. Jesus Lord of Divine Mercy Parish
Sunday 10-11am Holy Mass
11-12nn Catechism

c. San Roque Parish
Sunday 945-1045am Holy Mass
1045-1145am Catechism

d. Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish
Sunday 830-930am Holy mass
930-1030am Catechism

5. CUBAO, QUEZON CITY

a. St. Joseph Parish
Sunday 9-10am Holy Mass

b. St. Anthony de Padua
Sunday 4-5pm Holy Mass
5-6pm Catechism

6. MAKATI CITY

a. Near the PRC -Phil. Racing Club
Holy Cross Parish
Sunday 4-5pm Catechism
6-7pm Holy Mass

b. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Sunday 12nn-1pm Holy Mass
1-2pm Catechism

c. Sts. Peter and Paul Parish
Burgos, Makati
Sunday 9-10am
10-11am Catechism

d. St. John Bosco Parish
Sunday
10-11am Holy Mass
11am-12nn Catechism

7. PARANAQUE CITY

A. Presentation of Child Jesus Parish
2nd and 3rd Sunday
9-10am Catechism
10-11am Holy Mass

8. PASAY CITY

Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish
Sunday 10-11am Holy Mass

9. QUEZON CITY

Our Lady of Anunciation Parish
Sunday 9-10 Holy Mass