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Can you imagine not being allowed or not having the opportunity to attend school?
Well, this is often the case for deaf children in developing countries.
We know that opportunities to access education in the developing world is much more lacking than what we experience in the developed world, and this will very much depend upon what is available in the local area.
If there is a local school that the child could attend, it is firstly dependent upon the family having money available to fund the school placement.
Should the family have more than one child, a choice may need to be made and a difficult decision over which child/children can be put through school.
Parents of deaf children often have a lack of understanding of their own child and their own child’s needs, mainly due to a lack of communication.  This means that parents can be reluctant to offer an education to their deaf child, concerned that the opportunity may not be fully beneficial.
Deaf Child Worldwide which is the international development arm of the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) with a vision of a world without barriers for every deaf child and they facilitate work that enables deaf children and young people to be fully included in their family, education and community life.
One of the projects that they have been involved with in India – has seen support workers going into homes and helping to mediate communication between parents and their deaf child.
The main aim of these interactions is to build a level of empathy and understanding of the parents towards their child; enabling them to see the potential in their child, leading to considering the opportunity for school.
A vital step is educating parents of deaf children in the developing world and seeing the future possibilities.
An example of where deaf children have been empowered really successfully is in Ecuador where deaf students have been studying the topic of human rights, which is fundamental in life for everybody.
Enabling more deaf children access to this training and knowledge builds empowerment.
Here is what one of the deaf students had to say:
“I think that more deaf people should have this training, to improve their skills and knowledge about Human Rights and how to defend them. Many deaf people are passive and just accept the differences, however they should understand that when they face conflicts in society, it means that work must be done to promote equality”.
To read more about Deaf Child Worldwide – take a look here http://www.deafchildworldwide.info
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