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Deaf Community - Mexico

Just Next Door

By

Updated April 28, 2009

Mexico has developed its own deaf community and culture. There are deaf Mexican schools, social organizations, sports, and religious services.

Mexican Sign Language

The Spanish sign language article at About Deafness includes information on Mexican sign language.

Mexican Schools for the Deaf

The website sitiodesordos.com has a listing of Mexican schools for the deaf.

Mexican Organizations for the Deaf

In addition to its national deaf organization, the Asociacion Mexicana de Sordos, Mexico has a network of deaf organizations. A listing is on the website sitiodesordos.com.

Social Organizations for the Deaf in Mexico

Deaf mexicans do not lack for social opportunities, as evidenced by the listing of social organizations on the website sitiodesordos.com.

Mexican Sports Organizations for the Deaf

Athletic deaf Mexicans can join the sports organizations for the deaf listed on the website of sitiodesordos.com. One deaf sports site, the International Martial Arts Federation of the Deaf, has a Mexico listing of deaf martial artists.

Religious Services for the Deaf in Mexico

A church in Mexico City is known to hold signed masses, and there may be others. There are also reportedly deaf churches in Mexico. Plus, deaf ministries work in Mexico in places such as Guadalajara.

Mexican Deaf Culture

The Deaf Friends International Online magazine includes stories and photographs from Mexico, so online readers can get a feel for deaf social life in Mexico. The Rockefeller Foundation has given a grant to the filmmaker Eileen Arzani O´Grady, to make videos of short signed stories in Mexico City. At the historic Deaf Way II, Mexican deaf artists and performers were present. One Deaf Way II Mexican performance was "The Mystery of the Circus Where No-one Heard a Word," and another was "Planet Trek," presented by the Mexican deaf theater group Sena Y Verbo. Sena Y Verbo has also created Historias Sórdidas, a collection of short stories of the deaf community in Mexico. A deaf Mexican artist, Solis Garcia, also displayed artworks at the Deaf Way II focusing on Mexican sign language.

Mexican Services for the Deaf

The U.S.-based Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf has affiliates in Mexico:
  • The Mexican Institute for Hearing, Speech and Language website (www.imal.org.mx)
  • Audiology and Phoniatrics Department, General Hospital of Mexico
  • Coral, the Centro Oaxaqueño De Rehabilitación De Audición Y Lenguajein Oaxaca, Mexico is a social services organization. Coral has programs such as a hearing aid clinic, an oral school for the deaf, and a social outreach program that seeks out those in need of hearing rehabilitation services. Begun in 1988, Coral receives much of its support from the United States-based organization Child Aid.
Another one is the Instituto de Rehabilitación y Enseñanza Especial, A.C. in San Miguel de Allende.

Mexican Deaf Economy

Much of Mexico still suffers economically, and this has resulted in the enslavement of some deaf Mexicans as well as the immigration of others. That case, which drew media attention, was followed-up on in World Around You, a magazine for deaf teens, in January-February 1998.

More Deaf Mexico Resources

Additional resources on deaf Mexico include:
  • A section, "Mexico and the United States: A Cross-cultural perspective on the education of deaf children," in the book "Multicultural Issues in Deafness(ISBN 080130752X).
  • The out of print Gallaudet Encyclopedia of Deaf People and Deafness has an entry on Mexico.
  • "Niños Milagrizados: Language Attitudes, Deaf Education, and Miracle Cures in Mexico," is an article that appeared in volume one, issue 3 (Spring 2001) of Sign Language Studies, published by Gallaudet University Press.
  • The International Deaf Children's Society (www.idcs.info), has a report, "From integration to bi-cultural education: a Mexican experience" that reports on eight mainstreamed deaf students in Mexico City. It can be downloaded from the IDCS website.
  • CNN Sunday Morning News, reported on June 11, 2000 on Rancho Sordo Mudo, a ranch for deaf Mexican children and teens near Encinata. The transcript is online and the video can be ordered from CNN.
  • The British television program See Hear has profiled a village in Mexico where everyone uses sign language.
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