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Moments with the World Federation of the Deaf President

April 13, 2014

MOMENTS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF COLIN ALLEN AND DLS-CSB BROTHER PRESIDENT AND CHANCELLOR DENNIS MAGBANUA, FSC. — my first time to meet both…

You should see Brother Dennis signing in FSL!!! AMAZING!

From the time I entered the world of the Deaf in 2006 by studying Filipino Sign Language [FSL] at DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS] right after finishing my docu film on autism, there has been no turning back. Studying sign language was part of my immersion and research for the feature-length documentary “Silent Odyssey” [2008], a film that focuses on Deaf Filipino life and culture. “Silent O” featured Deaf Filipino achievers and then president of the World Federation of the Deaf [WFD] Markku Jokinen who clearly explained the value and importance of sign language to the Deaf. [Click above to see the trailer]

Since then, my interaction with the Deaf continued. In fact, some of them worked with me as production crew members, consultants and participants in the films that I made to help advocate for the use of FSL. I also joined Deaf seminars and has not stopped to get involved in their activities. A couple of months back, I helped initiate, rather, mediate in the holding of a Deaf seminar in Castillejos, Zambales. SDEAS in cooperation with the PWD group and the local government of Castillejos successfully held the seminar which focused on the Rights of Persons with Disability especially the Deaf. It was well attended. A Deaf camp to be held this summer is also being arranged as a follow-up activity.

Last Friday, April 11, I went back to SDEAS again, as panel member of the group that critiqued the graduating Deaf student’s thesis presented in video format. In place of the usual word “thesis” however, the word “capstone” is now being used we were informed. The difference? What I know is that a thesis project is usually done individually and takes longer time or term to do. Those who presented their capstone project largely worked as a team. A couple of students however worked solely on their projects. But no matter how one calls it — a thesis or capstone, students are suppose to present their mastery in whatever they have studied and learned from the school. A few proved to be promising because of their diligence and talent.

Anyhow, friend Giselle Montero, SDEAS Partnership and Development Director invites me to join SDEAS activities from time to time, — the latest being the “silent reception” given to the World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen when he came to Manila as speaker in the Deaf Leadership summit held last month. When I arrived at the venue, I wasn’t aware that no one was suppose to speak during the reception. But gestures did tell me that hearing individuals should zip their mouth. Little knowledge of FSL and VGC helped. It was in fact, just like my first day in FSL class at SDEAS, maybe better. During our first day in the sign language class, we were not allowed to speak the whole day, or for 8 hours!!! Panis talaga ang laway!

WFD Prez takes foto

World Federation of the Deaf President COLIN ALLEN takes photo of the Welcome Banner prepared for him by SDEAS

I was so happy for my Deaf friends as I witnessed how inspired they were being with the WFD President, who in turn was so impressed by our empowered Deaf leaders, and the preparations made by SDEAS for him and his group. For a few hours, I shared the joy they felt being with an esteemed and very important guest.

SDEAS PLAYGROUP “SILENT STEPS” PERFORMED FOR THE SPECIAL GUESTS

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DEAF LEADERSHIP SUMMIT FINALE NUMBER

On the second day of the summit, I managed to catch the last part of the program; everybody “sang,” danced and cheered; WFD President Allen himself led the group.  Very memorable and uplifting moments indeed for ALL the participants — whether Deaf or hearing.

Finale 2 Finale 5 The event held last month on March 21-22 “featured a lecture on inclusive education and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities delivered by World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) president Colin Allen on the first day. The second day was the Summit proper, with presentations on Deaf achievers, and the state of education, leadership, and employment for Deaf people, as well as the situation of Deaf women, children, and LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders)… Allen says that this can be accomplished by fulfilling the five concepts needed in inclusive education. These five concepts are: Accessibility, Universal Design, Non-discriminatory, Meeting Students’ Needs, and Reasonable Accommodation” [For the complete report of Ronald Lim on the event, please click to read his article:  “HEAR THEM OUT”.

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One comment

  1. Good great!



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