DLS-CSB receives US$2.5 million grant for deaf education


The U.S. government has provided P2.5 million to De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) for the “Promoting and Supporting Philippine-International Academic Relations for Out-of-School Youth Development” (Aspire) grant to expand the learning process for deaf Filipino youth who are out of school.

The grant was administered through Opportunity 2.0 of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The main beneficiary is the Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS), an institution that promotes leaders in the deaf and hearing world through new fields of specialization in Deaf Applied Studies and Sign Language Interpreting.

(From left) Michelle Chen, Director of the Philippine Office of Education of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Jill Jarvi, Director of the Education Development Center, Sherlo Reyes, Director of External Liaison at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Bronson Escalderon, Deaf Career Coach, Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, and Ryan Washburn, Mission Director of USAID Philippines, at the Government-Academe-Industry Collaborative Grant award ceremony in Mactan, Cebu. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Under this agreement, Benilde SDEAS partnered with Gallaudet University in Washington, a bilingual institution of higher education that provides support to deaf and hard of hearing people through the English language and American Sign Language. The collaboration sets standards to improve training and access to higher education for Filipino deaf OSY.

The schools join forces to share and exchange expertise on the best intellectual strategies and career change projects implemented at their respective schools.

Benilde SDEAS will create an English bridging program to lay the language foundations, expand vocabulary, strengthen reading comprehension and improve writing techniques.

The goal is to develop professional development projects to prepare deaf Filipino OSYs for college entrance exams and enable them to obtain their college diploma.

“The main goal of Benilde SDEAS with this scholarship is to strengthen the academic skills of deaf OSYs and college dropouts in the Philippines, thereby providing them with employability skills and preparing them for transition into the workforce,” explained Lorish Dane Lozano, Executive Director of the Benilde SDEAS Center for Partnership Development.

Other Aspire awardees include Ferndale College in Zamboanga City, which will collaborate with Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. They will develop learning modules to engage OSY in solving food security problems in their communities.

Meanwhile, Quezon City University and the School of Knowledge for Industrial Labor, Leadership, and Service Inc. (Skills) in Cebu City each received a grant under the Government-Academe-Industry Collaborative (GAIN) worth P1.5 million to promote multi-skills and leadership skills training for OSY.

“OSYs deserve an equal opportunity to determine the lives they want to live. These new grants will help create a positive environment for youth by leveraging the creativity, resources and expertise of the Philippine and U.S. hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy communities,” noted Ryan Washburn, USAid Philippines Mission Director.

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