Deaf Kidz Goal
The ground facilities and play time allocation at schools is inadequate for delivering the desired curriculum for the D/deaf children. Many of the D/deaf schools in India are ill-equipped, under-funded and lack even basic infrastructure in certain cases. It is extremely challenging to administer training content for D/deaf CYP and calls for immense amounts of patience and perseverance.
Nagpur region has very limited availability of D/deaf adults who are interested in pursuing a sports related career, and have the background, experience and necessary educational qualifications as well as physical capabilities for becoming a football coach. It is extremely difficult to generate interest and motivate D/deaf CYP to pursue careers in coaching/physical sports.
Due to the role of a D/deaf coach being comparatively strenuous and not particularly lucrative, the coaches are inclined to seek alternate jobs. Suitable candidates for the role of Sign Language Interpreter are also very hard to find and as a result, it is difficult to recruit adequate candidates for both coach and interpreter positions.
Based on numerous surveys and research, it was found that very few of the D/deaf children and young people can communicate with their family and majority of them are not even aware of their fundamental rights. Many of the deaf children do not feel that they are equal to children who can hear and hence they feel that people who can hear do not respect them. A sizeable number of deaf children and young people do not know the difference between good touch and bad touch and are less confident in expressing their concerns and interacting with peers.
D/deaf CYP are often considered a burden by their families, and their development needs are neglected. D/deaf people in our country are under serviced due to the lack of sensitivity and understanding of the society towards their disability. Hence, they have very few opportunities to safely integrate in the social mainstream. It is essential for hearing peers to undergo Deaf Awareness and develop empathy so that D/deaf people have the opportunity to integrate into the mainstream.
The opportunity to engage with D/deaf CYP gave us a deep insight into constraints being faced by them to progress in life. It is important for any programme involving D/deaf CYP to include visual tools and demonstration activities. The motor skills of the D/deaf CYP, particularly those related to physical sport, require honing through intense practice.
Little is known about the real problems facing D/deaf children living in slums and this project work will form the basis of an important needs assessment.
DeafKidz Goal! will train a cohort of D/deaf people to become coaches who will themselves deliver life skills programmes to marginalised D/deaf children through the platform of football, delivered in their communication method of choice. It will empower D/deaf children to develop their educational potential. A number of D/deaf children will attend a leadership training course to become champions and role models. The project will establish much needed referral pathways for D/deaf children in relation to child protection, ear and hearing care, accommodation, etc. in response to the assessed needs of the beneficiaries.
The project will also foster the integration of D/deaf and hearing children to reduce the stigma/taboo relating to deafness.
Sports activities are the best tool for Deaf children through which they acquire knowledge, compared to standard classroom learning.
DeafKidz Goal! will focus on how D/deaf and hearing children can integrate when the barriers for D/deaf children are removed. This will require constant monitoring on how bringing hearing siblings and friends into the project can assist in fostering integration.
D/deaf children are kept and over protected in a safe ‘bubble’ away from real life hence they rarely integrate with hearing peers. They would naturally feel anxious and lack confidence in meeting them. The DeafKidz Goal! project will increase their confidence and provide them a positive experience when interacting with hearing peers.
The aim is to help D/deaf CYP participate in the DeafKidz Goal! programme, equipping them to improve their life skills through the platform of football which is based on hands-on, practical, interactive and visual learning. The change is that they will now have an opportunity to improve their life skills taught by D/deaf trainers.
The group will be more confident and optimistic about their future prospects when moving on beyond school. They will also become role models to other D/deaf CYP, removing the “I’m Deaf, so I can’t…” attitude.