Most of our staff are working most of the time from home but the Education Project and Sign Language Project staff are at the Deaf Development Programme at least one or two days a week to make videos. Some of the videos are for our education students at home and some are for public announcements about the Covid-19 situation. The videos get posted on DDP’s Facebook pages.
Here are Soknym, the DDP Program Manager, and Fr. Charlie at the Ministry of Social Affairs today where we handed over a ton of rice to the ministry for distribution to people in Covid-19 “red zones” where they are not allowed even to leave their houses to get food. There the government delivers rice to the houses every day or two. That is the rice behind us. I thought a ton of rice would make a bigger pile!
Today we had a scaled down celebration of Deaf Day. In other years we had 200-300 deaf people come together for this event but with the pandemic, we had to limit participants to a minimum. Click here to see some of the events of the day.
Last week two young men with multiple disabilities left the hostel at DDP for a new home with another NGO which we hope will be better suited to care for them. I hated to see them go because they have been moved around before but this new situation should be better for them.
We haven’t had a group activity at the Deaf Development Programme since March, 2021 when we celebrated Women’s Day. Three days after that, community transmission of Covid-19 began and all gatherings were banned. Now as the number of active cases has started to drop here and as the vaccination of Phnom Penh was completed, the government said we can have meetings of up to fifteen people if all the precautions are taken. Today we had a workshop on women in crisis. It was online but so many deaf people do not have access to wi-fi that we had eleven of them come to the office and an interpreter (in front of the green board) signed the presentations being made online.
DEAF is a four-letter word but not THAT KIND of four-letter word! It’s perfectly acceptable and certainly preferred by deaf people. Don’t use the terms on this poster and other terms such as “audially challenged” and “deaf and dumb.” Hearing people jump through all sorts of hoops trying to avoid the word “deaf” but it is the scientifically correct and most acceptable term used by deaf people.
On an inspection visit of our hostel for deaf students, a team from the Ministry of Social Affairs didn’t like that there was no ceiling above the dorm rooms but rather open space up to the metal roof twenty feet above. From my understanding, that design allows the hot air to rise well above the living area and also keeps the hot roof above the humans. They wanted a suspended ceiling, though, so now they are getting one. It will be interesting to learn from the students, when they return, if the rooms are now hotter or cooler.