Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language

by Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
We are excited to let you know that this project is very close to being fully funded!
We are only $831 from reaching the goal of $30,000. 
Thank you to all our generous supporters who have made this success possible.
We happily share with you the latest on what is happening at EEESMA.
Noelia, Angelica and Jesús have been accepted to on-line high school classes offered by the Secretary for Education of Guanajuato. In fact, their entrance qualification tests were in the +80% range. Please join us in congratulating all three!
And congratulations to Diego, who is himself Deaf, for the exceptional tutelage he has provided to the high school group. Diego tutored the first group of EEESMA high school graduates in 2019 and has returned to assist the new group. You will see by their smiles, they are happy to be back to school; in-person part-time. (Protective masks and shields were removed only for the photos.)
The younger students haven't been able to attend in-person classes since March 2020 and will have to wait a little longer. 
Teachers and students have come to recognize over the past year that virtual classes, although often very challenging, do have benefits; offering flexibility, structure and the sharpening of digital skills. Blended learning has been incorporated and the very important social connection has been maintained. Although many miss the support that in-person classes offer, some have benefitted immensely from dedicated one-on-one sign language instruction. Video is perfectly suited to communicating in sign language. 
New opportunities for providing specialized instruction and psychological services, across many miles from different cities within Mexico, are now coming into sharp focus. Please stay tuned.
tutored by Diego. You will see by their smiles, they are happy to be back in school. 
The younger students haven't been able to attend in-person classes since March 2020 and will have to wait a little longer. 
Teachers and students have come to recognize that the virtual classes do have their benefits; offering flexibility, structure and sharpening digital skills. 
Blended learning has been incorporated and important social connection has been preserved. Although many miss the support that in-person classes offer, some have benefited immensely from dedicated sign language instruction. Video is perfectly suited to communicating in sign language. 
New opportunities for providing specialized instruction and psychology services, across many miles from different cities in Mexico, are now coming into sharp focus. Stay tuned.
Noelia, Angelica and Jesús have just started on-line high school tutored by Diego. You will see by their smiles, they are happy to be back in school. 
The younger students haven't been able to attend in-person classes since March 2020 and will have to wait a little longer. 
Teachers and students have come to recognize that the virtual classes do have their benefits; offering flexibility, structure and sharpening digital skills. 
Blended learning has been incorporated and important social connection has been preserved. Although many miss the support that in-person classes offer, some have benefited immensely from dedicated sign language instruction. Video is perfectly suited to communicating in sign language. 
New opportunities for providing specialized instruction and psychology services, across many miles from different cities in Mexico, are now coming into sharp focus. Stay tuned.

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Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos

Classes at EEESMA continue through virtual learning. It has been challenging for the teachers and students but even more so for parents of the little ones who need one on one supervision to navigate the process. Regardless, all have risen to the occasion and have made it possible for all of the students to continue to meet and communicate with each other by means of video chat on their electronic devices. Education has made quite an evolution!
One of the most popular and meaningful celebrations for the students at EEESMA, National Day of the Deaf held on November 28th, usually involves getting together with others who are Deaf to educate, learn, entertain and share. This year, of course, the event looked quite different. As an option, many students created a video from home to express their thoughts and feelings of what it means to them to be Deaf. We learn a lot from them. See them on Youtube with this link
As with other events during this time of Covid, celebration of Dia de los Muertos held on November 1st, was also accomplished remotely by students from home. Each family was supplied with the necessary materials including tissue paper, candles, sugar skulls and even marigolds to enable the students to make their home alter (ofrenda) in their home. Later they were asked to give a narrative in sign language as to what the alter means to them and their family. It made for a great teachable moment.
As the Holiday Season approaches, we wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported and volunteered with EEESMA. We couldn't have done any of this without you.
The school has grown and the students have thrived because of your generosity and though your efforts. All at EEESMA join together to send
Our Very Best Wishes for Happy Holidays and All the Best in 2021!

Angelito saying "Gracias" in sign language
Angelito saying "Gracias" in sign language

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Communicating On-line
Communicating On-line

Inspiration is Contagious Too!

The challenging health issue we all face has brought an outpouring of inspiring messages in newsletters, emails, social media posts, as well as some wonderful window paintings and displays. The students, teachers and staff at EEESMA hope that this update on the kids' learning journey during the Covid-19 pandemic brings you joy and inspiration.

Despite the fact that school has been physically closed since March, the end of the school term in July brought a virtual celebration of individual student and group accomplishments. Virtual classes held on-line during the past four months have allowed students to advance in each of their respective levels.

EEESMA is excited and proud to announce that Rafael recently graduated from high school joining his fellow alumni Laurita, Azucena and Carla who graduated in 2019.

It is also with great pride that we announce three more students, Angelica, Noelia, and Jesús will begin on-line high school classes in September. This brings to seven the number of students at EEESMA to progress to high school. Felicidades a todos!

We are also pleased to announce that Diego Castro, himself deaf, will return to EEESMA in September to ably lead, translate and mentor this group of three middle school graduates through their high school modules.

Laurita has begun her undergraduate degree with Utel online university and her light shines on. See the microproject to fund Laurita's education https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/laurita-rises-to-the-challenge/  Although the intensity and difficulty of assignments make them a challenge, Laurita works diligently and has received high marks on her first exams and papers. She has a whole team of supporters at school on her side including a contracted translator who records on video in Mexican Sign Language the written and spoken course material for Laurita to better comprehend. After receiving her degree, Laurita plans to become a teacher at EEESMA. It doesn't get much better than that!

Although all at school are currently enjoying summer break, EEESMA continues to provide financial support, with all teachers and staff including part time vocational training instructors being paid as usual despite the school's physical closure.

A lot of planning and preparation is currently underway to reopen EEESMA for a new school year. Health and safety are the highest priorities. Secretary of Education for Guanajuato has yet to give the go ahead for schools to open on August 10th, as was previously announced. With the current rising of Covid-19 cases in San Miguel de Allende, it is unlikely that date will be met.

EEESMA, in the absence of lowering Covid numbers, will continue to run virtual classes until there is comfort that in-person classes can be held safely. To better support virtual classes there is a need to purchase additional electronic tablets for the younger students to use at home. Directora Juaniz is working to acquire more engaging and functional on-line educational apps from a regarded company in Mexico City to raise the level of on-line learning. Additional ways to support the students' mental and emotional wellbeing during this time of social isolation are also being researched. In the meantime, Laurita, along with a limited number of the older students, attend school once or twice a week for tutoring and to participate in Vocational Training workshops; all done with the proper physical distancing, hand hygiene, and the use of face coverings.

These kids inspire us all!

Noelia
Noelia
Angelica
Angelica
Rafa
Rafa
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It is sometimes hard to find good news and to be upbeat in these challenging times; the times of COVID-19.

But one thing that can give us all some comfort is to bear witness to how well children who are Deaf deal with the tough hand they have been dealt. Most often they do not complain, they are open to many changes and challenges, show amazing resiliency and, best of all, offer us all hope that a better future is within reach.

We invite you to read on, to learn firsthand how Laurita aspires to continue her education, to create a better life for herself while displaying courage and perseverance in the process.

It is also worth mentioning that all students, teachers, staff and their families at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende are doing well while following “stay at home” practices during the school's temporary closure. 

EEESMA is proud to announce that Laurita has registered in Utel University's on-line program for a Bachelor Degree in Education. The program began June 1st, 2020 and runs for 2 years 8 months. She will be tutored by teachers at EEESMA offering translation from Spanish to Mexican Sign Language to assist Laurita to better understand and complete assignments.

Following her graduation from high school at EEESMA last March, and after spending several months working with Directora Juaniz as a teaching assistant, Laurita realized that she had a lot to offer children who are Deaf by pursuing a career as a teacher. Through this work, she has demonstrated strong abilities to work with young Deaf students.

Described as a bright, warm, enthusiastic and caring young woman, those who know Laurita are confident she will make a great teacher and an amazing role model for all young Deaf people. During the temporary closure of school, Laurita has continued to work alongside Juaniz in an impressive way to support students with their virtual studies. Please join us in wishing Laurita well in the pursuit of her dreams of attaining higher education and becoming a teacher of the Deaf.  

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Children Peforming On Stage
Children Peforming On Stage

Fostering Deaf Awareness, and Asking “What Does It Mean to be Deaf”?

On November 29, 2019 National Day of the Deaf was observed by Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende. This was a day meant for all to reflect on what it means to be Deaf; as best as one can who is hearing! Teachers, families, friends, supporters and, most importantly, the students themselves gathered to share with each other.

It was a day to celebrate one's deafness. (Yes, it is possible to celebrate deafness if one has pride in oneself and in one's community.)

It was a day to create awareness around what it means to be Deaf.

It was a day to educate, inform and entertain.

All of these things were accomplished, and more, on this remarkable day.

Highlights of the event included informative speakers on issues facing the Deaf, a presentation of a children’s book illustrated by Jesús a student of the school, lively and entertaining stage performances by a visiting interpreter/performer and several engaging dance and sign language songs performed by the children themselves. The touching finale was a song performed by the students and their parents together, communicating their affection for each other in sign language. Many of the parents are only just beginning to learn Mexican Sign Language and this public display of tenderness was extraordinary for the students and for those fortunate enough to be there to witness it.

 As Day of the Deaf is also intended to educate and inform, we share some important facts. INEGI (a federal government agency in Mexico) reports:

-of the over 5.5 million people with disabilities in Mexico, 12.1% or 694,451 are Deaf.

-6,000 are born each year with a hearing impairment.

The Deaf, along with many others who have disabilities (or as we like to say "those with different abilities"), are only now gaining some recognition, particularly in smaller centers such as San Miguel de Allende. Municipal government officials attended this event and organized another observance entitled "Dia de Discapacidad" or Day of the Disabled the following week. It’s not a lot, but it is a start.

It wasn't until 2005 that Mexican Sign Language or LSM was even recognized as an official language in Mexico. The biggest hurdle, as we see it, is to convince those with decision making power to allocate resources to better train teachers and interpreters in Mexican Sign Language within the public school system. Might it be possible for a student from EEESMA to one day fill such a role? Those associated with EEESMA are confident that it will be. We also know there is so much more work still to be done.

On the bright side, advances in technology hold great promise, particularly when it comes to bridging the communication barrier. An announcement was made this day about a new phone app that will translate oral language into sign language, hopefully available soon.

Because of the lack of easily accessible information about the Deaf community and about Deaf Education to most in and around San Miguel, families of Deaf children are often left to feel helpless and don’t know where to turn for guidance. EEESMA continues to work diligently to get the information out there, and this event certainly helped accomplish that. Sanjuana Garcia Salgado, Director of EEEMSA, together with her team and all the students, produced a very successful presentation. Join us in offering them our congratulations on a job well done!

Maricuz With Expression!
Maricuz With Expression!
Jacobo, A Natural
Jacobo, A Natural
All Take a Bow
All Take a Bow

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Organization Information

Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato - Mexico
Website:
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Project Leader:
Sharon Doherty
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico
$29,713 raised of $30,000 goal
 
285 donations
$287 to go
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