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Gallaudet University Scholarship Students Visit The Nippon Foundation [2007/08/22]

World Deaf Leadership Scholarship recipients

In 1996, The Nippon Foundation established the World Deaf Leadership Scholarship program at Gallaudet University, a liberal-arts college in Washington, D.C. famous for its deaf education program. The scholarship focuses on students from developing nations. This past July, The Nippon Foundation invited three of the Program’s scholars to Japan to learn about the state of education for those with hearing impairments in this country. This was the second time that World Deaf Leadership Scholarship students have come to Japan, following an initial visit in 2005.

WDL scholars giving presentations at The Nippon Foundation

The three students to visit Japan this time were Kaneng Rosa Klandi (Nigeria), Rian Anthony Gayle (Jamaica), and Fernando Ayala-Luiz (Chile). After arriving on July 3, they visited Tokyo Metropolitan Central School for the Deaf, and Tatsunoko Gakuen, a school that teaches sign language. At both of these facilities, they had the opportunity to interact with educators in actual learning environments. On the evening of July 6, the students gave lectures at the Nippon Zaidan Building, describing, through PowerPoint presentations and sign language, both the situations of deaf people in their home countries, and their goals following graduation. Later, they visited western Japan, to tour such facilities as the Kyoto Rehabilitation and Treatment Center for People with Hearing and Speech Disorders, before returning home on July 11. The following are remarks by the three scholars following their lectures.

Kaneng Rosa Klandi: Although there are 1.2 million hearing-impaired people in Nigeria, the country’s laws protecting deaf people are inadequate, and there are not enough work opportunities. Upon graduation, I plan to build a job information center for deaf people. Japan is a beautiful and friendly country, though I was surprised at how complicated the subway system is.

Scholarship recipients dancing in Ryukyu style

Rian Anthony Gayle: Jamaica is home to roughly 200,000 deaf people. However, almost none of them advance to the university level. While vocational schools do exist, there are only two: one for carpentry and one for sewing. It is thus difficult for deaf people to find work. For this reason, in 2002 we established an organization for the betterment of deaf

Fernando Ayala-Luiz: I was born, the second deaf member of my family. Chile is home to between 150,000 and 200,000 deaf people, but almost no information is presented in sign language. After returning to Chile, I would like to open a workshop for deaf people.
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