During the course of our barber class, we were invited to a community event where many professional barbers gave up their day at work to provide free services to a poor community. Hundreds of men and boys came out to get a free hair cut. Our group had the opportunity to go, watch, and even practice cutting hair. Our group of women also got to learn how to apply facials. Everyone had a great time. It was a very cool experience for everyone, as our group had a great learning experience and the hearing community was exposed to the Deaf community as well.
After two months of learning and practicing, five men proved that they could be certified as barber's assistants (one is not shown in the picture because he was out of town on the day of the graduation). We are currently making the arrangements for them to begin apprenticeships at a few barber shops so that they can finish their training and become certified professional barbers.
We concluded the class with 15 hours of life skills workshops, which five women also participated in. It was the perfect way to finish off the class and was very interesting and educational.
I was lucky enough to take part in the Second International Symposium for Deaf Education. Experts in Deaf studies, Deaf education, and psychology for the Deaf (both hearing and Deaf) came from various countries, including the United States, Chile, and Costa Rica. It was a three day event with lectures for parents of deaf children, teachers of the Deaf, psychologists who work with the Deaf, and the Deaf teaching assistants. People came from all over the country to take part in this event. We were all able to learn from some very prominent and knowledgeable people. These sorts of events are so important here in the Dominican, as there are so few experts and so little access to accurate information about the Deaf.
|This Deaf presenter communicated in Chilean Sign Language, which was translated into Spanish, which was then interpreted into Dominican Sign Language!|
The Deaf community celebrated the International Week of the Deaf with a march through the city. Hundreds of Deaf people and hearing allies, young and old, came to bring awareness to the community and communicate their needs. It was a hot but fun day organized by the National Association for the Deaf in the Dominican Republic (ANSORDO). We started at the Senate building, marched to the Ministry of Education, and then ended in the National Theater for some speeches and dance performances. The event received quite a bit of press attention. I must say, I was impressed that there were no injuries. So many people walking next to traffic looking at each other's signs instead of where they were walking! Haha!
We have now turned our sights towards Christmas! This past week, we began a Christmas decorations class, where the participants will learn how to make various beautiful Christmas decorations that they can easily sell to make extra money during this holiday season. We also have begun planning our Christmas celebration, for which we are expecting at the very least 150 attendees. We are gathering donations in order to give out as many food bags as possible to the families in need, provide toys as gifts for the children, and serve a delicious meal at the celebration. If you would like more information or would like to donate, you can contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.