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October 3, 2003

Deaf San Diego State Master’s Degree Candidate takes volunteer trip to Jamaica to improve the education of the island’s deaf youth

From: GDC - Oct 3, 2003

Lindsay Bailey - San Diego, CA

Subject: Deaf San Diego State Master’s Degree Candidate takes volunteer trip to Jamaica to improve the education of the island’s deaf youth

Hello [reporter],

I thought you and your readers might be interested in this great story of a local deaf woman who recently returned from Jamaica, where she worked with local teachers to improve education for the deaf.

Lindsay Bailey of San Diego went to Jamaica as “ambassador” for Global Deaf Connection. Global Deaf Connection (GDC) increases social, economic and educational opportunities for deaf people in developing nations. Based on the premise that education leads to opportunity, Global Deaf Connection (GDC) works to improve education for deaf children and thus bridge the gap between the number of deaf children enrolled in school at an elementary level and the number of deaf adults who are qualified to teach those students. Ultimately, GDC aims to make it possible for deaf students to become deaf professionals, not cast-aside unskilled people.

Lindsay is pursuing a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf at San Diego State University. She was part of a group of four deaf professionals and an interpreter who made the volunteer trip to Jamaica earlier this summer.

The GDC Ambassadors trip to Jamaica had several objectives:

1. To understand the practices of the Jamaican schools for the deaf.
2. To understand needs and dynamics of the local deaf community.
3. To use this understanding to effectively incorporate American learning strategies into the Jamaican deaf educational programs.

During the two-week trip, Lindsay and her fellow volunteers were able to achieve great success, including:

1. Mentoring deaf education teachers, tutoring deaf Jamaicans using American techniques, and giving workshops on how to improve the overall educational experience of all who are deaf.

2. Assisting in the administration of and having the full responsibility of grading system-wide academic tests covering mathematics, reading comprehension, essay writing, vocabulary usage and logical sentences.

3. Giving native Jamaican teachers the ability to enhance their role as models for deaf and hearing-impaired students. This task incorporated the development of English literacy and native sign modeling.

4. Developing native sign language skills and English literacy in deaf and hearing-impaired students.

Volunteers like Lindsay are an important part of Global Deaf Connection’s mission to eliminate deafness as a reason to marginalize citizens. Creating bridges between people like Lindsay and deaf people in developing countries is a key part of GDC’s strategy. To talk to Lindsay or leaders of GDC, please contact me.