Today was our CAD - community action day, and for this, we had an afternoon of giving talks and presentations at the Mandaue Association for the Deaf. This week is Deaf Awareness Week and the three topics we focused on were Deaf Rights, Deaf Identity and Deaf Leadership.
I had to prepare a presentation on deaf identity and it turned out to be rather interesting. I made everyone write a word to describe themselves, and got a huge variety of answers - some were rather strange! I also made them get into groups and discuss their views on deafness. I presented my views, and the whole meaning of the term 'deaf identity'. I explained that deafness isn't a disability, we view it as more of an experience. And within that experience, we are able to share it with other deaf people - that's what brings us together.
We played a quiz, some of the questions were like - are deaf people mute? Are deaf people dumb?
A surprising number said yes to both questions. It's amazing how they are so easily influenced by what other people think.
We do have vulnerable deaf adults in the UK. But it's different in the Philippines, I know very few deaf Filipinos who can stand up for themselves. Who are able to express how they feel, who are able to explain their rights. Which is why it was vital to have a presentation on deaf leadership - they need to realise deaf people can be leaders too.
We taught them a few games to play, and the smile on their faces - absolutely adorable! They were around the ages of 20 - 40, but it felt like being around kids on Christmas Day!
I'm eager to tell my family and friends about all the stuff that's happened here, but I wouldn't know where to start at all! Everytime something happens, or I see anything, I wish I could tell them but it's so hard! But the time has come where I have mixed feelings about going home - is it too soon?!