On Jun 27, 2018, at 9:38 PM, Dale Spoor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Dear Colleagues,My name is Dale Spoor, but I go by "Diego" with my Spanish speaking friends. I live on the island of Bainbridge, a short ferry ride from Seattle. I am the chairperson of the Special Needs Committee of the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association. For over thirty years we have been working cooperatively with our friends on Ometepe (located in Lake Nicaragua) in projects in health and education. For the past ten years of so we have organized projects for people in the special needs community on Ometepe.When I first met the deaf children in 2006, neither their parents or they knew that Nicaraguan Sign Language existed. There were no governmental programs for the deaf. The children did not attend school. About a year later we began providing workshops in Nicaraguan Sign Language for children and their family members--something we continue every Saturday. Originally we brought two deaf teachers from eastern Nicaragua to conduct the classes, but now our older students who have become more fluent do the teaching. Five deaf students, assisted by the interpreter we helped to train, are now in their third year of high school on the island.Currently I am collecting donated iPads and installing the Nicaraguan Sign Language Dictionary created by James and Judy Kegl. When things settle down there politically I plan to deliver the iPads to the children we work with and teach them Signwriting. James Kegl is assisting me in learning Signwriting, and I hope to visit Ometepe in January to do the workshops.
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