Creating Community

Published Wed, Oct 17, 18. Written by Teresa Anderson.

Just 25 years ago there was no deaf community in Bohol. Even years after IDEA began bringing deaf children into school, a community for the deaf didn’t exist. IDEA continued to work towards creating a community for all deaf people in the area.

To have a group of people become a community, leadership is required to create a welcoming atmosphere. It took many years for the first deaf people who became involved to become old enough to assume their roles in leadership. Only then were we finally able to have the Bohol Deaf Community.

This community is now made up of perhaps 1000 people including spouses and children of the deaf. IDEA has assumed the role of helping develop the leadership for this community. There have been two main areas of  this development effort. First, one has been to encourage the deaf toward independence. Second, to teach them to look towards the other members for support. It’s like the old saying, “All for One and One for All”.

The basic components that IDEA has built into this community are:

  •       Sign language training for parents of deaf children
  •       Academic Education for deaf children
  •       Vocational Training for older deaf youth
  •       Christian Education for all deaf
  •       Jobs for deaf adults
  •       Fellowship opportunities for all deaf
  •       Training and counseling for married deaf couples

ANOTHER KIND OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

  •       IDEA also works to give the hearing community better understanding and knowledge of the deaf community. This is done through:
  •       Free sign language classes for the hearing community
  •       Involving deaf sports teams in competition with hearing teams
  •       Placing deaf in  jobs within the hearing community
  •       Acting as an advocate for the deaf with the local government

 

Everyone here at IDEA is continuing the work to cultivate a community that supports the deaf in the Philippines. We want to make sure every deaf person in the area is accepted as a part of the whole community. The education and training IDEA provides within this deaf community allows more deaf people to be immersed in the hearing community as well.