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Deaf people in India combat a variety of oppositions in life-in education, access, communication and in opportunities. We believe that access to bilingual Deaf Education (Indian Sign Language/regional language) plays a key role in molding young Deaf children to become highly qualified contributing members in the community.
Growing up in Deaf Schools with no Deaf adults often lead Deaf children to think that they would die after they leave school. Years of oral educstion by teachers who are not skilled in Indian Sign language often results in creating culturally deprived illiterate Deaf youth. Our organization wants to establish a mentorship training program at universities with significant Deaf populations such as the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Students in the B.A in Applied Sign Language Studies program will join weekly sessions in which they will participate in workshops on leadership skills and applying the skills one is learning at university in real life setting. The mentorship training program will be modeled after the Peer Mentorship program at Gallaudet University, the world’s foremost institution for the education of Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
We ultimately want to prepare Deaf university students for their futures by providing opportunities to experience work in their fields on equal levels as hearing people and to travel to Deaf schools in New Delhi and assist in mentoring middle school studets to prepare for their futures by being bilingual deaf role models. We know our program will not only help foster more positive attitudes and perception of Deaf individuals within the Deaf community and the communities surrounding it, but also build a new generation of Deaf youth who will not encounter the limitations of their predecessors.