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[Description: A woman faces directly to the camera, signing. She is standing in a large room with tables, posters and bright light behind her]
In Indonesia there are deaf teachers. Yes, we do have deaf teachers teaching. But overall, in Indonesia, there are actually just a few spread out. Maybe a total of 16. That’s very few. It’s not many. 16 deaf teachers. So now the question for them is how is their pay? Good or not? They’ve completed their BA degrees and are certified so they can be teachers.There are about 10 deaf teachers in deaf schools.
But not all of the schools sign. They are oral. If the hearing teacher sees the deaf teacher sign, they tell them they should be speaking instead of signing. Until the hearing teacher leaves, then they can start signing again. It’s a problem that has repeatedly occured. Now we have been discussing how can we advocate. That we must use sign language and teach with sign language. A problem is that in one school, there would be one deaf teacher. It’s difficult to stand strong. If there were more than one deaf teacher, it’s possible to fight and speak up that we want to use sign language. Right now we’ve been discussing how we can come together and address this. And that brings us to another problem, funding. We want to be able to fund meetings. Because people would have to travel by air or train. How can we support them financially. We need funding, and it’s a big challenge. We also need resources, R – E – S – O – U – R – C – E, like information, how to search and find. There arent any. If there happens to be resources available but it’s in English. We’d not be able to understand. It needs to be translated to Indonesian language, either written or sign language. There isnt any. We need more resources. Maybe even in International Sign. How to teach deaf students, to read and write bilingually with sign language. That’s the most wanted resources. Plus sign language, maybe more visual so the information is clear and easy to understand so we can use it to teach.
Laura, a leader in the deaf community in Indonesia talks about an issue deaf teachers face.