The Filipino Sign Language Learning Program focuses on the development of the art of FSL Interpreting. It is composed of a collaborative pool of Deaf teachers, interpreters in the Cebu Province as well as volunteers who are advocates for the Deaf Community.
The Philippines National Statistics Office stated that 3 out of 1000 Filipinos are Deaf. Applying this to the current approximate Philippine population of 100,000,000 there are an estimated 300,000 Deaf people in the country.
There is approximately only 1 interpreter for every 60 Deaf citizens, all of which are volunteers and with limited structure background on interpreting. This has resulted in a barrier between the Deaf community and the mainstream society.
We want to develop a large pool of both hearing and Deaf interpreters. Interpreters are the bridge between the hearing and the Deaf community. We need to build a strong foundation to develop the craft of FSL Interpreting.
We want to develop committed individuals to become interpreters in courts, hospitals, schools, events and broadcasting stations. This is to give better accessibility for the Deaf community especially in emergency cases.
Our bigger dream is to have FSL approved as an official language of the Philippines.
We provide training and lessons on FSL. Interested individuals will undergo series of formal classes and will be assessed by the Deaf teachers based on their developed skills. Courses range from Basic to Advanced and are accompanied with various specializations. Upon finishing a course, certificates will be given as proof of the learned skill.
"I volunteer with PADS for over a year and has much exposure to the Deaf community. I learned their culture and their language. I am lucky to have had this experience"
"The Break the Silence Project has made me feel motivated and really enhanced my skills. It has given me an opportunity to meet new friends who share the same passion."
"It was my teacher who originally encouraged me to learn Sign Language. Now, I am happy to continue learning and developing my interpreting skills."
"As I learnt Sign Language, I also discovered a lot of things about the Deaf community and that made me realize how I love to be with the Deaf as well as understanding their culture."
"After attending the Break the Silence Project, I am hopeful for the future and happy to see such like-minded people learning Filipino Sign Language."
"After attending the Break the Silence Project, my skills have improved and I have a much deeper understanding of Deaf interpreting."
"After volunteering during Typhoon Yolanda, I realized that the PWD community is the more vulnerable sector and that they need to have more integration with society at large."
"I want to make a difference for the People with Disability community. The discrimination I see makes me cringe. I will strive to improve my Sign Language skills to help create an inclusive society."
"As a teacher, I want to spread the rights of my students who live with a disability, to enable them to contribute something valuable in society."
"The Break the Silence Project has enhanced my ability to use Filipino Sign Language, and allowed me to understand my next steps in this space."
"My experience volunteering with PADS opened my eyes and heart to the Deaf world and as I went into the community. I learned about the challenges they are facing including lack of accessible social services."
"My niece is Deaf, and it is important to be able to communicate with her. I also want to help as many people as I can through my advocacy and my work."