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Education and jobs for the deaf | Ruma Roka

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    Didn't understand anything did you?
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    Audience Laughs
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    That's 63 million Deaf people in India- who go through this year after year, day after day,
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    trying to make sense of a world they cannot hear.
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    Huge lack of awareness and social stigma of having a child that is differently-abled.
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    Parents run from pillar to post trying to understand how to bring up their child.
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    And they are told, "Even though your child can't hear, there is nothing wrong with his voice box.
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    There's nothing wrong with his vocal chords and he can be eventually taught how to speak."
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    There starts the journey of years being spent trying to teach this little child how to articulate words that he cannot hear.
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    Even within the family, this little child wants to communicate with his parents.
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    He wants to be part of the conversations in the family.
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    But he can't. And he doesn't understand why nobody is listening to him.
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    So he feels isolated and misses out on a crucial skill that is required when we grow up.
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    He goes to school thinking, "Okay, hopefully things will be different."
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    And he finds the teachers opening their mouths and closing and writing these strange things on the board.
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    Without understanding, because he can't hear, he copies it all down, regurgitates it at the exam time,
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    and by rote and a few grace marks, he finishes school, class ten.
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    What are his chances of employment?
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    Here is this child who really doesn't have any real education. Visual words, vocabulary of thirty to forty words.
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    He's emotionally insecure, he's probably angry with the whole world also, which has,
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    he feels has systematically disabled him.
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    Where does he work? Menial labor, unskilled jobs, often in very abusive conditions.
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    That's where my "BURT" journey starts in 2004. I don't have, as um-uh Kelly said,
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    I don't have any family who are Deaf.
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    Just a strange pull and um, no rational thought. I jumped into this world and learned sign language.
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    At that time, it was a- challenge. Nobody want- Nobody seemed to know--
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    (They said) "What is it that you want to learn, Ruma? Is that a language?"
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    Anyway, uh, learning signed language opened up my life to this community which is outwardly silent, but is brimming
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    with the passion and curiosity as visual learners. And I heard their stories of what they wanted to do.
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    And a year later, in 2005, with um- meager savings of about $5,000 of uh, of a matured insurance policy,
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    I started this center- in a small two-bedroom flat with just six students and me teaching them English in sign language.
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    The challenges, the need of the hour at that point was, 'How do I get these kids who just high school pass into
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    real jobs into the companies? Jobs of dignity, jobs that can prove that Deaf are not dumb?'
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    So, the challenges were huge. The Deaf were years sitting like this and years of DWINDLING in darkness.
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    They need to believe in themselves. The parents needed to be convinced that this child is not Deaf and dumb.
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    And he's capable of standing on his own two feet. But most importantly,
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    'Would the employer employ somebody who couldn't speak, couldn't hear, and very much couldn't read or write either?'
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    I sat together with some of my friends from the industry, and I shared with them my story about what it meant
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    to be Deaf. And I understood there were clear areas in companies where Deaf could work. Deaf people could
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    work as a great value add. And with meager resources, we created the first ever vocational training curriculum for
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    Deaf people in the country. Finding trainers was a problem. So I trained my Deaf kids, my students, to become
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    the teachers for the Deaf- and it's a job they took on with great responsibility and pride.
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    Still, the employer was skeptic. Education, qualification, 10th pass.
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    (They said) " No, no, no, Ruma, we cannot employ him." That was a big problem.
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    "And even if did employ him, how are we going to communicate with him? He can't read, write. Can't hear/speak."
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    I just told them, "Please can we take it just one step at a time. You know, can we focus on what he can do?
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    He's a great visual person. He can work. And- and if it works wonderful, if it doesn't, we will at least know."
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    Here I would like to share a story about Vishu Kapoor.
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    He came to us in 2009 with no language at all. He didn't even know sign language.
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    All he saw-processed in his brain was through his eyes. His mother was in despair and she says, "Ruma, can I
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    please keep him in your center for two hours? It's really difficult for me to manage him--
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    you know manage with him 24 hours a day." So I said, "Yeah, okay." Like a crash service.
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    It took us a very painstaking one a half years for us to give Vishu a language. As he started communicating and
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    he got a sense of self and he understand that there was- uh I mean
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    he couldn't hear, but heck, he could do so many other things.
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    He figured out that he liked to work on the computers. We encouraged him, motivated him, and put him
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    through our I.T. programs. He cleared all the tests, you know, much to my nervousness.
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    An opening came one day in the back end of a very well-known I.T. company, and just for the exposure and
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    the experience, I said, "Let Vishu also go for this job interview."
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    Vishu went there and cleared all the technical tests.
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    Even then I said, "Uh, I, I just hope he will be able to stick on for 6 months at least."
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    It's been a year and a half now.
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    Vishu is stil there, and he's not only just 'oh, this poor guy working in this hearing environment.'
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    He is winning laurels as best employee of the month, not once but two times.
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    Audience Applauding
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    And I want to share with you that, today, it takes us about a year and a half to teach a Deaf person to get ready
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    to get into this real world that we know about. In a short time of 6 years, today 500 of my wonderful young students
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    are working in some of the top organizations in the industry: in graphic design profiles, in the back end of I.T.
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    organizations, in hospitality, in barrier breaking employment like in the security, and in banks.
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    And also in retail outlets, and doing direct customer service.
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    Audience Applauding
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    Directly facing people like you and me in KFC, in coffee outlets.
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    I just leave you with a small little thought that, "Yes, change is possible."
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    And it just starts with one little change in our perspective.
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    Thank you so much.
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    Audience Applauding
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    And this is applause, it's an international sign for applause. Thank you so much.
عنوان :
Education and jobs for the deaf | Ruma Roka
وصف :

Ruma Roka is the Founder of the Noida Deaf Society, which uses specialized vocational programs to help the deaf achieve gainful employment and more fully integrate into their communities.
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لغة الفيديو:
English
المدة:
07:10
  • @Naciye -- it looks like you accidentally translated the English (EN track) into Turkish. I'm going to revert the English captions back. If you'd like to improve the Turkish subtitles (TR track), you can find them here: https://amara.org/en/videos/Z6TBY57kbpnp/tr/1035744/ Thank you for helping out with this video!

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