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Services > HIV and AIDS

Awareness and Health Education for Adult Deaf
A unit of the Deaf Way Foundation

The need:
There has never been any attention paid to the vulnerability of the Indian deaf in this age of HIV and AIDS. The deaf are regarded as “non-hearing” persons who are in need of pity and technological assistance to help them to hear and speak and the focus on developing the language and communication skills of the deaf individual is so great that other aspects of life are neglected to a certain extent. However, it has been found as of 1999 that an estimated 193,600 deaf Indians are HIV positive. This is the largest HIV positive deaf population in the world, and the one least likely to receive life support resources, information, education, and communication. The deaf person has been described as “an unguided target drifting into situations of high risk armed neither with awareness nor with wisdom that could save his or her life.”

The Mission
Awareness and Health Education for Adult Deaf (A.H.E.A.D.) is a unit of The Deaf Way Foundation. We are working in India with deaf persons providing information on General Health and reproductive health, STD’s and HIV/AIDS through workshop sessions and peer counseling. The current methods of creating awareness are largely ineffective with the deaf because they are for the large part functionally illiterate and non verbal. We have trained persons who are able to deal with this situation and disseminate vital information in a workshop environment. This “Relationships and Health” workshop is the only method currently available for helping understand health and safety within relationships

The A.H.E.A.D. methodology:
A team of deaf peer educators visits deaf clubs, schools & associations and makes a series of presentations in sign language. They are able to convey the message of responsible behaviour as well as identify and rectify risk situations and create awareness of abuse which is rampant among the deaf community of India. The team would also provide needed information in a totally interactive workshop over a period of 4 days. The persons thus educated are then able to carry the message further within the deaf community. A.H.E.A.D. has created several visual tools to use with deaf community, such as captioned videos, and models of the body etc. Drawings, group activities and games help the deaf to internalize the information more readily.

The work so far:
A.H.E.A.D. has been conducting “Relationships and Health workshops” at several places in India. We have been working since 1999 with young deaf persons to provide needed awareness and education to help them understand HIV/AIDS.

Key benefits:

  • Empowering deaf women and girls to protect themselves.
  • Helping the deaf community make informed choices about relationships.
  • General health awareness/consciousness among the deaf.
  • Empowering women with knowledge of pregnancy and prenatal care.
  • Creating a safe aware deaf community which is currently at grave risk.

Events and News

Events:

What the People Say
       

 

Learning about the body and about abuse made it very interesting as I had not heard these things before.

I have no real experience or teaching on this and always was wondering why people get sick and how babies are born and all the various health issues about women.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
   

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