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Two individuals discussing their experience during calamities using signs.

Most disaster management interventions rely on services to people who can see, hear, and respond to instructions. Often, critical information is presented in languages and formats not accessible to the Deaf. These practices contribute to the escalating disparity encountered by the Deaf in accessing social protection programs, particularly in climate disaster preparedness and resilience. 

Rommel Agravante, a sign language researcher and a member of the Filipino Deaf community, interviewed Deaf residents of Cavite City to document the signs used for climate-related concepts by collecting their personal stories on the challenges they faced during calamities. Using signs and climate-related images posted on the wall, Marites, Merlinda, and Rosario shared how they were unable to evacuate in time and detailed the difficulties they endured during typhoons. Signs, including variations, employed in their narration will aid Rommel, and other researchers, in establishing the lexicon for effectively communicating weather- and climate-related concepts to Deaf communities. 

The Oscar M. Lopez Center, with the support of USAID, through its project entitled Signs for Inclusive Governance and Development or Project SIGND works with Deaf organizations to create a lexicon for Filipino Sign Language to improve their preparedness and adaptive capacities to climate-related risks and disasters.

Deaf Communities Developing Their Own Lexicon For Climate Action

2023 Photo Contest Winner submission_type Winner
Copyright © 2023 Maya Rani Devero

Country Philippines
Topics Gender and Social Inclusion, Humanitarian Assistance

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