Deaf Parents’ Day
Hanoi – In the morning of 27th July 2014, the IDEO Deaf Parents’ Day was held successfully at La Thanh Hotel, Hanoi. This is the first event organized by Hanoi Deaf Parents Association (DPA) with the support of the family support team of World Concern Development Organisation (WCDO) Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach Project – IDEO. Many people attended the event, IDEO deaf parents from Hanoi, Thai Nguyen, Quang Binh, Ho Chi Minh city; PhD. Vuong Hong Tam, Vice Director of the Training and Development Centre for Special Education, Vietnam National Institute of Education Sciences; Mr. Nguyen Tuan Linh Chief of Hanoi Deaf Association; World Concern staff, Mr. Howard (Chief of Party), Ms. Le Thi Kim Cuc (Project Manager); International Trainers who are experts of deaf education; Teachers at Xa Dan and Nhan Chinh schools and the IDEO family support team.
Parents and guests presented at the event very early (Photo: IDEO)The event provided deaf parents from Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Binh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong and Ninh Binh with an opportunity to exchange experiences with the Deaf Parents Association in Hanoi as well as to share their experience in bringing up the deaf children. During the event, parents also had the chance to discuss and ask questions to professors, international trainers and IDEO family support team regarding the importance of sign language in early education for deaf children, which is considered an essential step for the full development of cognition, language, social, emotional and physical abilities. The discussion topics and concerns focused on how to create a favorable communication environment between children and their families; deaf adults are the most suitable family mentors to teach sign language to the children. More than that, parents also shared their previous misunderstanding and incorrect perceptions toward sign language and some successful deaf adults who graduated from pedagogy colleges thanks to sign language teaching methodology also shared with everyone in the hall about their stories and successes. To begin the program, some members of the DPA came to the stage and sang the song “Happy family”. The song was performed in sign language by hand. Those hands are used to daily tasks such as housework, automobile repair and computer typing, but now they signed skillfully along with the rhythm of the song. The words came from the deep love from their heart to their children and the big effort on the pathways of learning sign language.
DPA performing the song “Happy Family” in sign language by hand (photo: IDEO)This whole event was organised by DPA members in Hanoi with a long list of ppreparation regarding the program content, contacting parents in different locations, rehearsal, decoration and MC practicing. Though this was a lot of work, everyone’s face still showed much joy and happiness.
Decoration by IDEO family support team and Hanoi Deaf Association (Photo: IDEO)
Parents rehearsing before opening (Photo: IDEO)
Two amateur MC, who are deaf parents (Photo: IDEO)In the exchange session, Professor Audrey Cooper, said: “Many people want to know when Deaf children should be introduced to sign language. The answer of many teachers within the special school system has been that access to sign language should be delayed until Deaf children have demonstrated lack of development in spoken Vietnamese. However, because language development begins from the first moments of life, children require exposure to language as early as possible, a language that is most accessible and most naturally acquired. When a child acquires a language – whether signed language or spoken language – the language area in the child’s brain is stimulated to develop; when a child uses signed language, s/he is laying the cognitive and linguistic foundation that also support the child’s learning of other languages later on. The child’s brain develops very fast in the period of 0-3 years old. Without language acquisition during this period, children may miss the developmental affordances of this period of life. Therefore, children should learn sign language as soon as possible. We recommend that parents learn the signed language that is used by the Deaf community in their area (according to the grammar of the local Vietnamese sign language). Parents also play a very important role in deciding and directing their child’s learning. Parents can be a valuable bridge to one another, supporting each other in promoting children’s education. We also encourage schools to recruit Deaf teachers with credentials from Viet Nam’s Pedagogy College to teach deaf children in the classroom, as they are the best language models for Deaf children.”
Professor Audrey Cooper (second from left) answering parents’ questions (Photo: IDEO)
Invited guests sharing with parents (Photo: IDEO)
Ms. Nguyet Ha, mother of a deaf child asking questions (Photo: IDEO)In the coming time, the deaf parents are planning to spread the model and establish new DPAs in the three remaining cities and provinces including Thai Nguyen, Quang Binh and Ho Chi Minh City, so that parents there will have chance to join and share with others. The Deaf parents also plan to make a website for the DPA.
|The Hanoi Deaf Parents Association was founded on 4th May, 2014 by parents who have deaf children within the IDEO project under the support assised by World Concern Development Organisation’s IDEO project and Hanoi Deaf Association. So far the Parents association in Hanoi has 150 members.|