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Deaf Community - Peru

a latin american country

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Updated November 12, 2009

(This week's article is in response to a visitor request)

Even though a substantial percentage of its population is impoverished, Peru has organizations, schools for the deaf, and its own sign language.

Organizations

The National Association of the Deaf in Peru is the Asociacion de Sordos del Peru, whose postal address is:

Asociacion de Sordos del Peru

Apartado Postal #3668 Lima 1

Deaf Population

According to one estimate, the deaf population of Peru is over a million. Many in this population live in poverty (and have to survive by means such as begging) as does much of Peru.

Sign Language

Peru's sign language is Peruvian Sign Language. In Fiscal Year 2001, a small grant from the Gallaudet Research Institute at Gallaudet University went to Melissa Draganac to study the syntax of Peruvian Sign Language. Plus, Approdis, a national organization for people with disabilities in Peru, is spearheading a project called Manos Que Hablan (Hands That Talk). This project has multiple sign language objectives, including:

  • Linguistics of Peruvian sign language
  • Developing training programs for Peruvian sign language interpreters
  • Developing a dictionary of Peruvian sign language
  • Eventual incorporation of Peruvian sign language into educational instruction for the deaf

Education

Peru has a substantial number of schools for the deaf, more than 70 schools. A few of these schools are the Escuela para los Sordos in Lima; the School for the Deaf, Leprosory, and the EFAFA School for the deaf. Most of Peru's schools for the deaf are utilizing the oral method of communication for instruction, while sign language is used outside of class.

Advocates and Missionaries

In 1997, Susana Stiglich, a Gallaudet graduate, received a scholarship from the International Deaf Education and Advancement Fund. Stiglich, who had a Bachelor of Arts in Early Education, used her scholarship to finance her Master's degree in Family Centered Early Childhood Education. After receiving that degree, she returned to Peru to teach and try to establish an organization for parents of deaf children. In a follow-up letter to the IDEAF fund in fall 1998, she noted that secondary education is not mandatory in Peru, and this results in a lot of illiteracy. Deaf students have few secondary education options in Peru.

Peru also has quite a few deaf missions.

Related About.com site: World News

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