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Swabhimaan
PROJECT OF THE DEAF WAY FOUNDATION
Background
The Deaf Way Foundation (TDWF) has
been working with deaf people for about
14 years. Prior to this the founder...
The first discovery
During this time in 2002 Arun C Rao, himself a
parent of a deaf child, had been training deaf
people ...
Social milieu
At that time there was no civil society
organization working on deaf women and
abuse among deaf women. Ther...
TDWF activities
The TDWF worked on various fronts until they felt
that it was time to address issues that were long
negle...
Swabhimaan
The idea of Swabhimaan was mooted, a project
under the TDWF that would provide valuable
information and counse...
Trainers
Obviously there was a need for women to do this
and also deaf women to lead the project. The
capacity was found ...
Workshop series
The idea was that a sample series of workshops
would be conducted with and by TDWF staff
numbering 7 at t...
Trainees
The organizational aim of TDWF has
always been to give the knowledge and the
skills to the ones best suited to u...
Strategy
 The people we wanted to work as trainers had no real
knowledgebase to work from beyond personal experience
and ...
Strategy
The first set of 5 workshops was conducted in
tandem with the expert Ms Rao and in the second
set of 5 workshops...
Strategy
The workshops follows a simple system of
progressively introducing issues over the 5 day
period and uses various...
TDWF involvement
So as we trained our own staff, though many left
us subsequently, our staff are still continuing to
cond...
Outcomes
 The program has been extremely well received with many
participants coming out feeling far more proud of themse...
Dissemination and
the way forward
 TDWF is now considering conducting these workshops
across the country including south ...
THANK YOU
ARUN C RAO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
TDWF
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SWABHIMAAN - EMPOWERMENT FOR DEAF WOMEN IN INDIA

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The story of Swabhimaan. How deaf women are working in the gender space in their own community.

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Transcript of "SWABHIMAAN - EMPOWERMENT FOR DEAF WOMEN IN INDIA"

  1. 1. Swabhimaan PROJECT OF THE DEAF WAY FOUNDATION
  2. 2. Background The Deaf Way Foundation (TDWF) has been working with deaf people for about 14 years. Prior to this the founder and Executive Director, Arun C Rao, had been setting up and developing the “Deaf Friendship Club Project” culminating in the establishing of the All India Deaf Friendship Club with 78 city partners.
  3. 3. The first discovery During this time in 2002 Arun C Rao, himself a parent of a deaf child, had been training deaf people to be counselors among the deaf. In the course of the work he found a large number of terrible stories of abuse of minors and adults the majority being deaf women. The experience culminated in a paper outlining the abuse and was presented at the World Federation of the Deaf’s, World Deaf Congress in Montreal in 2003.
  4. 4. Social milieu At that time there was no civil society organization working on deaf women and abuse among deaf women. There was also no organization for the protection of deaf people’s rights, or any interpreters working for deaf people or even a justice system and a matching social network support system or legal recourse through organizations working for deaf people.
  5. 5. TDWF activities The TDWF worked on various fronts until they felt that it was time to address issues that were long neglected or rather ineffectively dealt with after the fact. TDWF started by holding empowerment workshops for women and discussing rights and roles and responsibilities and so forth among the deaf group creating a solidarity platform that deaf women could relate too. It was again obvious that much more was needed and minors were still not being addressed.
  6. 6. Swabhimaan The idea of Swabhimaan was mooted, a project under the TDWF that would provide valuable information and counsel about personal rights and sexual rights of deaf women. The idea was to work with young adults and married women initially and then filter into schools to the minor community with classes on reproductive health, safe behavior and prevention of abuse.
  7. 7. Trainers Obviously there was a need for women to do this and also deaf women to lead the project. The capacity was found lacking and the TDWF contacted a leading expert on Gender issues and shared the concept that we had for the project to be called Swabhimaan (Pride in one’s self).
  8. 8. Workshop series The idea was that a sample series of workshops would be conducted with and by TDWF staff numbering 7 at the time which would first of all address their own issues and through these women support and address the public after a TOT type of program where the first group would go ahead and conduct the workshops with deaf women everywhere.
  9. 9. Trainees The organizational aim of TDWF has always been to give the knowledge and the skills to the ones best suited to use it and in this case deaf women. We found that the issues needed to be explained and worked into a format appreciated by deaf people especially women.
  10. 10. Strategy  The people we wanted to work as trainers had no real knowledgebase to work from beyond personal experience and in the beginning they themselves were in need of help counseling and emancipation from their own thinking in many ways. The communication strategies and the issue based workshops were developed by Ms Nandini Rao after discussion with the TDWF team and subsequent tweaking and modification was done before it was passed on as a workshop to the community.
  11. 11. Strategy The first set of 5 workshops was conducted in tandem with the expert Ms Rao and in the second set of 5 workshops she was able to step back and critique the performance of the TDWF team as they worked.
  12. 12. Strategy The workshops follows a simple system of progressively introducing issues over the 5 day period and uses various strategies and games and group work to convey the message.
  13. 13. TDWF involvement So as we trained our own staff, though many left us subsequently, our staff are still continuing to conduct the workshops on a regular basis and the others are peer counselors in their own communities where they work and live today.
  14. 14. Outcomes  The program has been extremely well received with many participants coming out feeling far more proud of themselves as having worth and value and not being targets of abuse and oppression of various types. A large number have also shared incidents of abuse as minors by teachers, caregivers and family. Even more share incidents of abuse as wives in the form of domestic violence, reproductive rights, financial issues and domination by male members to an undue extent even in our society.
  15. 15. Dissemination and the way forward  TDWF is now considering conducting these workshops across the country including south India. A second TOT for interested persons in Bangalore and Delhi will be launched.  A Series of workshops based on simple biology classes for high school stuents is also on the anvil.  We will be collaborating with school and NGOs with vocational courses with youth for this aspect.
  16. 16. THANK YOU ARUN C RAO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TDWF
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