My name is Sam King and I am a senior at Susquehanna University where I study Religious Studies and Spanish. I applied for an internship at DOW because of my love of sign language and advocating for the deaf community as well as my knowledge of social media and its impact. I am now working for Deaf Open World as their Social Media and Digital Storytelling Intern. I am super excited to work with DOW. I have always wanted to be part of a non-profit and being able to work again as an advocate for the deaf community makes it even better. I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity to work and learn.
So far I have done a lot of reading on the deaf community in Swaziland, their education system and about DOW impact in the area. In these readings a couple of things stuck out to me. One of the biggest things I noticed was that there was a “zero percent pass rate in the JC examination in 2011” when it came to deaf students and seemingly this is still an issue. After reading through the Dilemmas in Accommodating Candidates with Special Needs pdf I now see a glimpse of how complicated the situation is. One thing that really took me by surprise was that “the sign language in the country is not fully developed.” This shocked me because I can’t image how hard it is to learn a language still being developed. I have learned previously about the modernization of Hebrew from Biblical Hebrew and how long and extensive the processes of updating and developing a language can be. The difference between these two situations is that in most areas Hebrew had gone extinct (in the daily spoken sense) and only existed for religious means. Bringing it back was a choice. It is not a choice to be deaf, and relying on an unfinished language must come with many challenges.
Part of my job with DOW, besides reading articles like this, is to manage the social media accounts of the organization. I have already seen the Facebook and web pages that have been created and I look forward to expanding and updating them all in order to better serve and inform our audience.
Until next time,