South Asian Deaf Community in North America and in South AsiaDeafness, Communication issues, & Deaf Proud Presenters:GausiaHuq-ValiSagar Kothari North American Bengali Conference 2011Baltimore Convention CenterJuly 2, 2011
Metro South Asian Deaf Association (MSADA) Brief History This organization includes 7 countries in South Asia Our website Hosted fund-raising events, General Meetings, Social Hours, and co-hosted Deaf Mela fun-escape event Currently, we are 11 people on the board Why did we set up MSADA?
MSADA: Brief History Pre-history 1980 to 2002 focused on India only. In July 2002, older generation South Asian Gallaudet alumni & current generation South Asian young adults got together and founded Metro South Asian Deaf Association (MSADA) in May 10, 2003 Seven SA countries: INDIA, PAKISTAN, BANGLADESH, SRI LANKA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, MALDIVES
MSADA: hosted Cultural, Educational & Recreational events Hosted annual fund-raising events: Diwali & Eidevent AluthAvurudha(Sri Lankan New Year) event Holi Festival & Picnic Participated as booth vendor at Gallaudet University events: - Homecoming booth - Unity Fest booth Hosted General Meetings Invited two presenters (Deaf director and his CODA daughter who was an Indian Sign Language interpreter) from Indore School for the Deaf Invited a few Bangladeshi presenters from a Deaf school in Bangladesh Sri Lankan Presentation for raising funds for setting up a new Deaf organization in Sri Lanka Dr. MadanVasishtagave several presentations on different deaf Indian organizations and other non-profit/NGO Deaf organizations
MSADA: hosted Cultural, Educational & Recreational events (continued) Social Hour parties Co-hosted a family fun-escape social gathering – Deaf Mela in Seattle in 2008
MSADA: Why did we set up MSADA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? MSADA have hosted recreational, cultural and social events to
Promote awareness and respect for diversity and multiculturalism to the Deaf South Asian community
Our mission is to establish friendship and understanding among people of diverse heritage, cultures, languages and backgrounds
2. Foreign students from South Asia come to study aboard at Gallaudet University
MSADA make them feel like a “home”
Help them to understand Deaf culture, American Sign Language, empower them, our Deaf rights, stand up for their rights, and leadership
Most deaf foreigners were neglected by their hearing parents or they were ignorant about Deaf needs, etc. We help them to increase their knowledge, and be independent
MSADA: Why did we set up MSADA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? (continued) Hosting fundraisers to raise funds for the causes limited solely to Deaf South Asian communities worldwide
Scholarships for enrolled Deaf foreigners to Gallaudet University
Ultimate GOAL: Host our first international Deaf South Asian conference in Washington, DC
4. Fun social events to bring all of us together and bond
Statistics of Deaf people, in general USA According to the Census of 2010,thereare ~312 millions people (both deaf and hearing people) How many deaf and hard of hearing people? 28 millions… About 1.5 million deaf people Demograph
INDIA Over 1 billion total population Estimated about 10 millions deaf people About 60 millions deaf and hard of hearing people No aggregate data on SA countries. South Asia In the seven SA countries, it is estimated that one-third of world’s deaf population live there There are over 30 million deaf people About 180 million deaf and hard of hearing people Statistics of Deaf people, in general (continued)
General Picture of Deafness in SA Only 5-10% get an education One in a million is able to go to college 30 to 50% unemployment or underemployment New laws are being introduced in all SA countries We believe things will improve there
American Sign Language (ASL) mode Not all Deaf people communicate the same way. Some sign and there are many forms of signs. ASL is a natural language in its own right. Some people use ASL signs in English word order. The communication issue is hugh, we are just touching the tip of the iceberg here.
Communication modes ASL (American Sign Language) Oralism/lip-reading Cued-speech PSE (Pigeon Signed English) SEE (Signed Exact English) SPP (sign language communication mode for Deaf-blind people… tactile sign language/braille sign language
Sign Languages used in South Asian countries ISL (Indian Sign Language) – Not all regions in all parts of India are 100% the same. There are slightly different signs in Mumbai, Bangalore, Gujarat, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, etc… PSL (Pakistani Sign Language) Sri Lankan Sign Language Bangladeshi Sign Language Nepali Sign Language… British Sign Language (BSL) SIGN LANGUAGE IS NOT UNIVERSAL. EACH COUNTRY HAS ITS OWN SIGN LANGAUGE.
Cochlear Implants This is the latest technology. It is not an hearing aid. Some deaf children and adults do benefit from CI, but for some it does not help.
Deaf schools There are 77 Deaf schools in the nation (USA) However, more than 65% of deaf children attended mainstream programs.
Colleges/Universities for the Deaf/HH Gallaudet University, Washington, DC – The only liberal arts university in the world that serves Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students. Today, hearing students are matriculated into the programs. ~ 1,400 Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and hearing students National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology (NTID/RIT), Rochester, NY – 1,200 Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students and more than 10,000 hearing undergraduate students at R.I.T. California State University at Northridge (CSUN), Los Angeles, CA – More than 220 deaf and hard-of-hearing students; more than 35,000 hearing students Other community colleges and hearing universities that have Deaf programs such as Northeastern University, McDaniel College, Hunter College, New York University, Columbia University, Seattle Central Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Hofstra University, etc…
General Public and Importance of Communication Deaf people do not need help. They need understanding. If you (hearing people/hearing parents or sibling) want to help Deaf people, learn how to communicate effectively with them. Learning ASL is the first step.
Deaf Professionals President of Gallaudet University – Deaf Dr. I. King Jordan (1988 – 2006) – his famous quote: “Deaf people can do anything except hear” Dr. Robert Davilia(2007 – 2009) Dr. Alan Hurwitz (2010 – present) Deaf doctors, Deaf lawyers, Deaf teachers, Deaf professors (like Dr. MadanVasishtaand Dr. GauravMathur), Deaf engineers, Deaf social workers, Deaf marriage counselors, Deaf pilots, Deaf-owned businesses, Deaf CPA accountants, etc… Deaf/HH people can DRIVE!!!! Even motorcycle!
Deaf Education system USA Most schools use signs Deaf people are involved in education Almost half teachers are deaf About 30% of schools have deaf superintendents/ principals South Asia Mostly oral education No education for rural deaf Deaf people are not allowed to teach Government provides some support for training
Comparison The United States Provides equal access through interpreters, closed captioning, Video relays and other support as needed Education in mandatory Deaf people work in federal and state governments, run their own business and are active on par with hearing people South Asia Non of these are available in SA countries Though education is mandatory, only 5 to 10 % deaf children get any education Very few deaf people get jobs in government. Very few have business (usually family owned)
What you can do? Involve deaf people (you are already doing that by inviting us to talk with you) Learn sign language of the country Try to understand deaf people Support causes such as deaf education, employment and rehabilitation