Language is a means of communication that helps us express our thoughts and emotions. Just think how difficult it would be if you were not able to express yourself to others at all. In fact, there are many people in our environment who struggle with this problem: those who are hearing impaired, either from birth or beginning at a later point, due to genetics, illness or an accident. To overcome this obstacle, many hearing-impaired people use sign language. This is not enough, however; ideally, sign language should be learned by everyone. If its use is limited to hearing-impaired people only, they will have difficulty communicating with others in their daily lives, which will in adulthood affect their social and professional lives as well.
For deaf children, the inability to communicate can cause them to feel alone and insecure, in some cases leading them to further isolate themselves from others. This isolation has a negative effect on their future prospects, as they are less able to develop their social skills and other abilities during this crucial period of their lives.
In TDP’s Hear the Hearing Impaired Project, we try to help deaf children overcome these obstacles. First, we focus on learning sign language ourselves; an experienced trainer helps project volunteers master the basics. We know that only by learning to communicate in their language can we show hearing impaired children that they are not alone.
Then, we are ready to spend time with the children, doing various activities such as sports, painting and crafts that help them develop their personal and social skills. Unlike what might have been expected due to their isolation, we have found that these children are very talented and only need some encouragement from outside.
The Hear the Hearing Impaired Project family always welcomes new members who wish to show these children that they are being heard and are not alone.