Free hearing aids!

Good news! Rotary Club of Pasig South President Gilbert Magbutay, one of my long time friend and colleague in our university publication “The Featinean” of  Feati University informed me about their project of donating free hearing aids. Here are the details:

Rotary Club of Pasig South through their President Gilbert Magbutay will be giving away 80 pcs. of hearing aids for FREE! Here are the requirements:
1. Must be between 7 to 17 y/o.
2. Must be residing within Pasig, Marikina, Caloocan, Navotas, Mandaluyong, San Mateo and Rodriguez Rizal, San Juan, and Valenzuela.
3. Must be able to sustain the purchase of batteries after our initialset and spares.

Procedure:
1. Candidate must seek a clearance/certification from an EENT that they can be fitted with hearing aid.
2. Submit EENT Certification via FB/Email or fax at +6326828467.
3. Rotary Club of Pasig South will schedule the hearing test and ear mould fitting at the Manila Hearing Aid.
4. Awarding of hearing aids is the culmination.

Deadline for submission of EENT Certificate will be on October 20.

Please avail of this free hearing aids. You may email the requirements in our school at info@mccid.edu.ph or submit it in their official Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rotary-Club-of-Pasig-South/311992654447

This Cebuano is on a mission to create a better future for deaf Pinoys

This is a repost from loqal.ph website written by Anna Valmero featuring my interpreter-colleague who is doing awesome job in in helping Filipino deaf down south of Manila, JP Ecarma Maunes. Enjoy! 🙂

JP Ecarma Maunes
CEBU CITY, CEBU—For John Paul Ecarme Maunes, deafness is not a disability in itself. More often than not, it is society’s limited understanding that deaf people actually can communicate and listen —visually, that is.

A decade ago when he was in high school, John Paul, or JP, was diagnosed with a brain condition making him disabled due to psychological trauma. It took the help of a deaf person named Peter Paul to make JP realize to get back on his feet again and make the most of life.

“He showed me that being deaf is not a hindrance to communicate and live life fully. He was mimicking how to play the guitar, the drums or even signaling that he would call me at home if ever I felt down,” JP says.

“He (Peter Paul) was able to make me realize that I can overcome my illness; if he can live life happily despite being a deaf mute, why can’t I?”

Drawing inspiration from Peter Paul’s joy for life, JP got well from his disease and started learning sign language and immersed himself in the “visual world” of the deaf community.

“There’s more good things about deafness than just being deaf—the person itself, their capabilities, and even the unique community. When you get into their community, deaf persons are actually talking with their hands and are listening with their eyes—looking at your hand signals and your facial expressions.”

Only a few people take the time and chance to understand and listen to our deaf brothers using sign language. Among the favorite signs that he learned from Peter Paul was the “I love you” sign, which speaks the universal language of love across nations, and the sign of development depicted by interlacing fingers of both hands raised above the chest.

Spending most of his high school life learning hand signals and communicating with a deaf community in the village of Banilad, JP and eight other friends eventually co-founded nonprofit group Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme Inc.

“According to the deaf, the problem is not about their hearing or their inability to do so, it is the hearing world that doesn’t listen to them. When we spend a minute of our time to listen to what we are saying, we can accommodate them and understand their problems so we can help them,” he says.

Deafness does not affect the intellect of the person but the language barrier is a big hindrance to tap the person’s talents and achieve their full potential, JP explains.

Basic education in the country, for example, is only tailored for normal learners so deaf kids have a hard time keeping up with their classmates, particularly in subjects that require speaking skills.

The lack of deaf curriculum in public schools is also a reason why most families decide against sending their deaf kids to school in the belief that they cannot keep up with the learning anyway. “That is just sad because you will see how the deaf persons have to struggle even with communication with their family,” JP says.

To this end, Gualandi is working with the Department of Education for drafting a K+12 deaf curriculum that can be adopted in schools. JP hopes for long-term training to implement the curriculum and to equip the teachers with better skills when teaching deaf and deaf-mute students.

Families and even younger deaf kids, he says, are taking inspiration from graduate deaf professionals who overcame their disability to succeed. Most kids in the community where Gualandi works are now taking up education courses in college so they can teach deaf students and improve the quality of education for deaf students.

This still remains a challenge, though, because of the lack of appropriate “skills matrix” for measuring the communication skills of deaf applicants for licensure exams at the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Most deaf teacher applicants would Filipino and Social Studies, which are mostly taught in the Filipino language – proof of the need to revisit the education system for deaf mute individuals, says JP. In this connection, a World Census report said that 90 percent of deaf individuals lack a regular job due to their condition.

Says JP: “Based on current PRC rules, sign language is related and grouped with written language. That should not be the case because sign language is a very visual language—we draw pictures in the air.”
Educating the deaf and empowering them to express themselves is a way of emancipating them and protecting them from crimes and abuse.

A study conducted by the Philippine Deaf Resource Center revealed that one in three deaf kids are abused at home by their relatives or friends. The inability to speak up and communicate what happened to them already marginalizes them from getting justice and opens them up for future abuses, says JP.

The group is currently rehabilitating some of the cases discovered during community visits under a project towards creating a Deaf Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Network in the Philippines.

Another project that the advocacy group is organizing is the “Fully Abled Nation” that aims to help persons with disabilities, particularly deaf people to register and cast their vote in the 2013 midterm elections.

For JP and other volunteers like him who advocate for a better future of deaf and other marginalized individuals, there is a lot more to be done as people still overlook someone’s potential just because he or she is deaf.

“I hope to change that one day and to make more people appreciate our deaf brothers without prejudice and to see them see the person beyond the disability,” he said.

View the original article here.

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!