TRAIL - The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership


Deaf One

by : Royce A. Hernandez, MA, RP, RPm TRAIL-ELIAS PH Fellow 2014

BIG IDEA: Deaf One - Enhancing the OCCI Trilogy for Deaf Participants
It all started with a burning desire that lead to a dream that became a goal and now an emerging reality. People started to gather, to wonder, and eventually ponder on this possible future. 
Then finally, the question was askedhow can we practice “a world that works with no one left out” especially the growing Deaf Community in OCCI? How can we enhance the OCCI Trilogy for Deaf Participants?
The answer may well be, DEAF ONE.
Through meetings and dialogues with the Deaf Leap graduates and other stakeholders, the need to address Deaf empowerment and development of more Deaf leaders emerged. 
A plan was set but had to be refined and redefined along the way. Questions began to pour in as people continued to journey together.
In this journey of discovery, I had to see both the trees and the forest in order to gain grounded
beliefs and realities of the initiative.
How can Deaf One address issues such as inclusion and segregation? What is Deaf Empowerment? And, how can both hearing and the Deaf work together in synergy.
The questions kept on coming and it was overwhelming. Old beliefs would surface once in a while to challenge the new and emerging beliefs.
Eventually, the initiative had to be born out of the idea. Thanks to the process and the clarity that came along with it, DEAF ONE slowly began to take shape and unfold into an action plan out of many would-be obstacles.
It may well be a long way to go until doors open for DEAF ONE in 2015. Nevertheless, one
can still hope that the prototype, innovation, and iteration of Deaf accommodations in the
OCCI Trilogy will turn out well. 
Much has yet to be done. From selection and training of Deaf Coaches, to sign language classes for interpreters and facilitators, to module re-design to accommodate Deaf learning needs. All in the name of “Love” and to realize “a world that works with no one left out”.
Key Learnings Elements:
I had to learn to silence and suspend my judgment. I allowed myself to listen and be open to suggestions and insights from the people around me. I also opened my eyes and my heart to what the ecology or environment was teaching me. Afterwards, I went back into silence to process and integrate all of the earnings and insight I gained from the learning and sensing journey.
Key Learnings:
The Deaf wants to be heard and seen as an equal with the hearing world. Just like anyone else, they want to be treated equally. The considerations and accommodations they need are aimed at making them understand clearly and also catch up with the hearing persons. Personally, I had to unlearn and let go of my bias as a protector or guardian of the Deaf. I needed to see them for who they are and not what they lack in. And as part of a group seeking to conduct the first ever All-Deaf class, I had to see and feel what they want to see and feel as a Deaf person. Sometimes what I want may not necessarily be what they want or need. After all, they want to be viewed as capable individuals in an inclusive society. They want to show that “Deaf Can” and I can help contribute to this by changing my paradigms and influencing people around me and in the development of Deaf friendly and appropriate tools and modules under the OCCI trilogy.

Download PDFdeaf one.pdf