NMS Cares concluded its pioneer Basic Sign Language Workshops, which is part of the Family Oneness Nurturing the Deaf Program, with lots of laughter and hope for the future.
On October 2, NMSC rolled out certificates of completion and recognition to the 20 parents of Deaf learners from the Baguio SPED Center. The parents have all completed NMSC’s 3-month basic sign language program that is focused on teaching parents, guardians, and family members of young Deaf learners basic sign to help them communicate better with their kids.
“Ang laki ng naitulong sa akin ng sign language kasi noon hirap na hirap ako makipag communicate sa anak ko kasi hindi ako marunong mag sign language. Hindi ko sia maintindihan, hindi nia ako maintindihan.” (Learning basic sign language has been a big help for me because in the past, it has been very difficult for me to communicate with my Deaf child. I can’t understand what he wants to tell me, he can’t understand me.)
Parent of one of the young Deaf learners Nora Quiambao was teary-eyed halfway through our interview with her when asked about the impact of the program in her and her 8-year-old Deaf kid’s life. She lamented on the frustrations she and her family had to go through just because they cannot communicate well with their youngest family member. But now, she enthusiastically tells us about how she has become the family’s designated interpreter, making it easier for everyone in their household to interact with her.
“Ngayong natuto ako mag sign language, kahit pag nasa jeep kami pauwi, nag uusap kaming dalawa. Tuwang tuwa nga yung mga katabi namin, yung mga kasakay namin kasi tinatanong nila ako kung ano daw ang pinag uusapan namin.” (Now that I know how to sign, I can talk to my kid during our daily commute going home and talk about his day in school. Even the people around us love watching us talk and some would even ask me what we’re talking about.)
The thrust of the FOND Program is to help strengthen the bond between Deaf child and his or her family members through constant communications. Aside from free sign language classes given to family members and the general community, the program also aims to educate people on how to better understand, communicate, and connect with Deaf individuals in the community.
Aside from teaching sign, NMSC trainers also enlighten program attendees on Deaf culture in order to ensure a much clearer understanding on the ways of Deaf individuals and how to better interact with them.
NMSC is set to launch a series of Basic Sign Language classes catering to the family members of Deaf learners from the other Deaf schools in the city. The organization’s Deaf professionals, closely monitored by NMSC’s Program Developer and Communications head, facilitate the classes.
(NMSC would like to extend it’s gratitude to the staff and faculty of the Hearing Impaired Sequence of the Baguio SPED Center headed by Principal Niño Tibangay for letting us use their gym to conduct our workshops)
NMS CARES, INC. is a Philippine SEC-registered non-stock, non-profit association with a vision for Deaf children to reach their dreams. The organization fully commits to advocating for the Deaf children of the community while looking forward to expanding its service all throughout the less privileged young Deaf individuals in the Asia Pacific.