Most hearing people do not come in contact with Deaf people unless they have Deaf members in the family, at school or as adults in the workplace and the
community. Hearing people have misconceptions about Deaf people, Sign Language and the Deaf Community. Most deaf people (about 95%), all over the
world, have hearing parents and do not come in contact with Deaf adults and Sign Language before the age when formal primary education starts. The
majority of hearing parents do not come in touch with deafness even after their child is diagnosed of being deaf.This lack of contact and knowledge marginalizes Deaf people, their Sign Language and their Deaf culture.
Hearing adults and in general the family or coworkers of Deaf people do not know and do not use Sign Language in their every day communication.
The Objectives of our project is to contribute to change this negative social state. Healthy, realistic expectations for the Deaf, positive reactions to deafness, and exposure to Deaf Role Models will better develop a bicultural identity and form healthy relationships with Deaf and hearing people alike. Acquiring a bicultural identity is crucial for most Deaf people in developing a productive and rewarding life. Hearing adults living or working with Deaf people of all ages will benefit from contact with Deaf adults in terms of understanding and accepting deafness and Deaf culture.
The Participating Organisations consist of 6 distinct partners based in 3 countries of the European Union (Greece, Bulgaria, Malta).
Six participants from three countries are part of the Project. Three National Associations of the Deaf representing the Deaf communities of their respective
countries of Southern Europe (Bulgaria, Greece and Malta). All three are members of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) and the World Federation of
the Deaf (WFD). One University, one School of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and one private sector company, all experts in the field of Deafness and Sign
Language, constitute the Strategic Partnership:
1. The Hellenic Federation of the Deaf (HFD) Leader, Greece.
2. The Deaf People Association (DPAM), Malta
3. The Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria (UDB), Bulgaria
4. The University of Western Macedonia (UWM), Greece.
5. Kindergarten for the Deaf and hard of hearing of Argyroupolis (KDA),
Greece.
6. Open Pedia (OP), Greece.

To prevent linguistic and social deprivation of the Deaf we will implement the following activities:
1. Train Deaf Adults to be Mentors, Role Models and Sign Language teachers
of hearing adults, practitioners and the members of the general hearing society
in the following areas:
a. Development of hearing people’s awareness on Deaf peoples
competencies and skills, teaching and use Sign Language in their everyday
communication.
b. Support for communicative and psychosocial family environment
development.
c. Use of state of the art digital skills.
d. Development of social and organization structures.
The methodology selected is based on the adult education principles which are:
1. The combination of theory and practice.
2. The creation of a link of the learning object to learners’ needs and
interests.
3. The development of critical thinking and a two-way relationship between
the trainer and the trainee.
4. The selection of educational techniques that develop learners’ active
participation, such as case studies, small practical work, role playing, dialogue,
learning, simulation, discussion in small groups, and
5. Emancipatory disability research.
As a result of our project we expect to adequately train Deaf adults to be Role Models for both the Deaf and the Hearing Worlds. This training will empower
Deaf and Hearing people to live happy and productive lives and set standards for others to follow in our countries, the EU and the World. Since the leading Organization and the partners from Bulgaria and Malta are National Associations representing the interests of their respective Deaf Communities the potential longer term benefits is in their “hands” and we all feel that the benefits will be long lasting.