Deaf Week


Every year deaf people around the world celebrate Deaf Week to inform people about their deaf culture and to encourage the inclusion of deaf people into the societies and communities where they live.

This year a major change for our Deaf Day was moving to a new venue, a Salesian Sisters school in Phnom Penh. We were afraid it might seem far away for members of the deaf community but it turned out to be an ideal location.
Another change this year was having the big Deaf Day celebration on the Sunday at the beginning of Deaf Week instead of at the end of the week. The morning saw an opening talk and the a story-telling activity. Then it was time for lunch which was prepared by the hearing students in the hotel hospitality training program at the school.
After lunch there were some games pitting teams against each other. The games are always a most enjoyable time for these gatherings.
Then it was time for the major activity of the day, a food-tasting event. Volunteers from the English Catholic Community prepared foods from their home countries to give the deaf people a taste and a glimpse of different cultures from around the world.
Deaf people experience tremendous isolation. Hearing people tend to avoid them because they don’t know to communicate with deaf people, and so when we have a large gathering like this a major attraction is just catching up with old friends and chatting in sign language.
We also have a Deaf Day celebration in Kampong Cham Province but this year we also invited a group from Kampong Cham to participate with us in Phnom Penh.