Why Jamaica

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, approximately 90% of Deaf people in developing countries have no access to education and have limited personal rights. Jamaica largely falls into this category since it is home to 7,500 Deaf individuals with an island population of 3.59 million. The large percentage of the island’s Deaf population is currently being overlooked due to lack of communication and quality of education. In fact, there is only ONE qualified interpreter on the island and only ONE school psychiatrist that signs (within 14 deaf schools). A high percentage of deaf students graduate with extremely low reading levels and only 5% will get transferred to employment.

Although the perception that many "Handicapped" people are unable to make a worthwhile contribution has largely changed, the Deaf population has been left behind. Therefore, these individuals do not have a level of independence they deserve.

The Deaf Community is proud to have its own Jamaican culture. Deaf schools are established, yet struggling; social access and Deaf rights are SLOWLY increasing, however they are eager to work toward a community that provides language development, education, employment and empowerment!

Unfortunately, sign language is not a requirement to be employed as a Deaf educator in Jamaica. The island has 14 Deaf schools staffed only by hearing teachers that may or may not know basic JSL and ASL. Our goal is to help bridge better communication between Deaf educators and their students.

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Deaf Empowerment Abroad Foundation
A Not for Profit 501(c)(3) Organization

861 Big Buck Circle
Winter Springs, FL 32708

Telephone: (407) 921-6365
Email: info@d-e-a-f.org

“Accessibility Opens a World of Opportunities”

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