Training Filipino Sign Language Communication Skills for Deaf Students with Weak Signing Skills – A GMEFI Fund Assisted Project is Over

Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] received the final report of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf [PFD], second recipient of GMEFI’s Community and Educational Program Fund Assistance. PFD is an umbrella organization of Deaf organizations all over the Philippines.

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The participating Deaf Students of Rosa Susano Elementary School with Sped Coordinator, Ms. Mercy Cubero [Extreme L], Deaf teachers Henry Perey II [next to Ms. Cubero] and Rey Lee [extreme R]
As a recap, the Deaf Awareness Orientation, Visual Gestural Communication, and Basic Filipino Sign Language Communication Skills Training Workshop was held from July to September 2016 on the following dates: July 4, 11, 29 | August 1, 8, 22 | September 5, 19 & 26. It was facilitated by two PFD members: Rey Alfred Lee and Henry Perey II.

[Below is the lesson on Visual Gestural Communication Where the Student is Required to Imitate the Expression of the Person or Animal Shown on the Photo]

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During the workshop, Deaf participants consisting of 18 Grade VI students of Rosa L. Susano Elementary School located in Novaliches City were made to learn not only Communication Skills in FSL. Most importantly, they were made to be aware of their rights as Deaf persons, made to understand Deaf Filipino Culture, learned about the Legislations Deaf leaders are fighting for, and the many Deaf organizations existing that would surely help them should they one day get involved as active participants in the future.

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[Deaf Students of Rosa Susano Elementary School with PFD Leaders led by Yvette Apurado, Bibo Perey and Rey Lee Joined the Showing in Metro Manila College of PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon, an educational documentary on Apolinario Mabini largely interpreted in FSL and participated in by the SILENT STEPS, an All-Deaf Performing group of DLS-CSB SDEAS]. The documentary was directed by Mirana Medina, GMEFI Board Member.

PFD Objectives and Expectations

With an end in mind of restoring a good and harmonious relationship between the hearing parent and the Deaf child, this project was implemented:

  1. To train Deaf students on the use of Filipino Sign Language communication skills;
  2. To develop self-confidence and self-esteem of Deaf students on the use of Filipino Sign Language.

Participants were expected to accomplish the following after the workshop:

  1. Completion of FSL Communication Skills training;
  2. Production of FSL vocabulary;
  3. Gained confidence of Deaf students; and
  4. Improved knowledge and skills of Deaf students in terms of their academics and social values.

[Photos below show how the students of Rosa Susano Elementary School enjoyed the workshop]

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After PFD’s Evaluation of the Activity, the following recommendations were presented:

 This project should be continued to improve the signing skills of the Deaf students of Grade VI because they will be mainstreamed in a regular high school program with the provision of sign language interpreting services.

 This project must lead to the development of an appropriate e-instructional materials for the Deaf students of Grade VI so that they would become skilled in both academic and social Filipino Sign Language.

 The parents of the Deaf students should be involved in this type of project because it is important to build their relationships through communication using Filipino Sign Language.

 The teachers of Deaf students should also be involved in the project because they should learn how to teach academic Filipino Sign Language to the Deaf students.

GMEFI looks forward to seeing a continuance of the activity for these students. We believe that the confidence they have gained even from the basic knowledge of FSL taught to them, and their rights as individuals shall help them greatly not only in understanding better their lessons, but in appreciating their very being as Deaf persons.

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