Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende provides free education and vocational training to those who are Deaf, at all levels and for most age groups. A bi-lingual model of Mexican Sign Language and written Spanish ensure that the students can thrive in an inclusive environment where they learn and progress within a community of their peers. School has returned to in-person classes and a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm is obvious. All are happy to be back together!
There are no publicly funded schools for deaf children in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico. The parent of a deaf child has no option but to send her to languish, virtually untaught, in a public school classroom with hearing students and with little or no special sign language instruction. Now that school has returned to in-person classes after virtual classes during Covid-19, the need for more advanced technology in delivering instruction is clearly evident.
Regardless of a family's economic situation, a deaf child now has the opportunity to attend school and learn to communicate in sign language while thriving and learning within a caring community of their peers. Three young people are now attending on-line high school while being mentored and tutored in Mexican sign language and another, Laurita, continues her last modules to obtain her degree in education. All students are encouraged to pursue their academic and vocational goals.
The project will continue to educate young deaf people to become literate, independent, and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals. Many students will not excel in school but may instead choose to use skills they master in vocational training workshops offered at the school to find employment and create additional income for their families. Others, like Laurita, may choose to attend university and upon graduation return to EEESMA to be a teacher of the Deaf - paying it forward.
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