In January of this year, we began to facilitate intensive sign language training for a hearing Vietnamese woman named Mai. Employed by an NGO (non-government organization), she is learning sign language in order to become the teacher for a group of deaf children in a rural area.
Mai started from scratch and has made a lot of progress in a relatively short amount of time. Though she is continually learning new signs, Mai has now moved into classroom preparation mode. She is working one on one with certified deaf teachers to learn more about deaf culture and is ready to begin planning lessons for her students.
Mai has a tough job ahead of her as she heads to her new position, reminiscent of the “one room schoolhouse” model. However, her dedication to learn sign language in order to help in a much-needed area is going to impact the lives of this small group of children. None of them are currently in school, though all are able to go and learn. They just haven’t had a way to communicate up to this point. All of that is about to change!