Help Deaf Children Experience Their World
Deaf children and adults are typically regarded as "dumb" and "lower-class" in many developing countries, where 80 percent of the world's deaf people live. Indeed, educating deaf children is considered to be a waste of money in many countries, and so only about 10 percent of the world's deaf children receive any education at all, leaving few of these children with any hope of someday getting a job and becoming fully functioning members of society.
Fortunately there are caring individuals who are trying to erase misconceptions and help improve the lives of deaf children around the world. Several organizations are working to make a difference, including the International Deaf Children’s Society, the World Federation of the Deaf, and the National Deaf Children's Society. And the challenge is great.
In Kenya, for example, most deaf or hearing-impaired children do not attend any of the more than forty schools that are available for deaf children, and the facilities themselves are substandard. Most of the teachers do not know, and therefore cannot teach, sign language. Deaf children also have little or no contact with positive deaf role models who can help them understand what it means to be deaf in a hearing world and how to live successfully in such a world.
These limiting factors are not unique to Kenya. Indeed, deaf children from Bolivia to India to the Philippines face similar problems and are struggling to get by. With your help, deaf children around the world will acquire the skills they need to live a more fulfilling and productive life.
I Did This!
If you would like to help deaf children make more sense of their world and realize their potential, here are some opportunities:
Whether or not you are hearing impaired and/or know sign language, as a volunteer you speak a language that is universal: a smile, a pat on the back, and a willingness to help. It's a language deaf children will hear loud and clear.
Make a Difference
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