Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Working together to help deaf children succeed

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Chapter 12: Education > Working together to help deaf children succeed


Deaf children can succeed when parents, schools, and communities work together to create a positive environment for them. Good education for these children depends on many things, including:

  • whether children learn and use a language.
  • whether there is good teaching, communication, and family participation.
  • whether the community creates opportunities for deaf people to succeed.
A woman speaking.
The primary school where I teach has a popular carpentry class taught by a deaf man.


Parents, schools, and communities can work together with deaf youth to make sure vocational training they want is available, that jobs are offered to deaf people, and that loans or grants are available for small businesses.

A woman with a hearing aid speaking.
Our group of deaf adults manage the railway station's restaurant. I think it is good for the hearing people we meet to learn to communicate with us. And if they don't learn, they don't eat!

Some communities even give lower taxes or financial assistance to businesses that employ workers who are deaf or do not hear well. Community organizations have established revolving loan plans that provide deaf craftspeople with funds to buy the basic equipment and materials to start their own small businesses. The loans are paid back little by little, so that the same money can be used to help another deaf person get started.


A man signing.
Several of my deaf friends who studied religion now serve as priests, and use sign language to communicate.
House painters find success
A network of deaf men in the south of India ran a house-painting business. People preferred to ask them to paint their houses as they did it faster than other painters.
Babu, the leader, was skilled at negotiating and actively looked for new business. With many houses being built or remodeled, more and more people discovered the group of deaf men were skilled at their work, and they were in great demand.

While this book is about the importance of helping a deaf child as early as possible, it is also important to try to help deaf adults. Our communities are strongest when they look after all of us.

A man signing.
My name is Tsogu, and I live in Mongolia. Here is my story.
Never too late to learn
2 men on horses speaking.
Tsogu was a good herdsman, but he was so isolated. We didn't want his world to be so limited.
We wanted him to be able to make friends, to read and write, and maybe learn a trade so he could have a better life.

Tsogu lost his hearing after a serious illness when he was 3 years old. As he grew older, he stayed at home while his sisters and brothers went off to school. Tsogu's family used a few home signs to communicate with him, but he spent most of his time alone, taking care of the family's horses, sheep, and goats.

One day his parents learned about a new class, started by a community group, for deaf adults who had never gone to school. After studying hard there for 2 years, Tsogu was finally able to communicate easily with his classmates, and to read, write, and do math.

Tsogu decided he wanted to learn a skilled trade like some of his friends from the same program. He was accepted at a vocational training school to learn how to be a carpenter.


A couple signing beside their baby.
With a good job, I was able to think about marrying and starting a family.
And our little girl has her father's curiosity and determination!


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