The unemployment rate on the islands of Bohol and Leyte where IDEA Philippines works is over 50% and it is almost impossible for an untrained deaf person to find a job.
The odds of a Deaf high school graduate getting a job in a regular private business are extremely small. For this reason, IDEA Philippines operates a number of businesses that currently employ over 200 deaf persons. IDEA Philippines is working hard to give the Deaf a better chance at employment in the general private business sector.
SKILLS WE TEACH:
BAKING, COOKING, FOOD AND BEVERAGE, CHOCOLATE MAKING, FURNITURE MAKING, FLY TYING, MECHANICAL, SEWING, HOUSEKEEPING, JEWELRY MAKING, CONSTRUCTION, WELDING, PAINTING, COMPUTER GRAPHICS, ELECTRICAL, ELECTRONICS, PLUMBING, ARTS, SOAP AND DETERGENT PRODUCTION, PAVING BLOCK PRODUCTION, LANDSCAPING, GARDENING AND MANY MORE.
IT BEGINS IN HIGH SCHOOL
Kids need exposure to many different possibilities of livelihood before they find something that clicks for them. This is the approach we take at our private high school, Bohol Deaf Academy on the island of Bohol.
Bohol Deaf Academy (also known as BDA) stresses vocational education and the students love it. Academic education paired with “skills training” means opportunities to succeed, to work, to find fulfillment.
Starting in their freshman year, the students learn through both classroom and on-the-job training formats. They are given six hours each week when they are allowed to “job shadow” with any number of IDEA Philippines working professionals. In job shadowing the student observes and may lend a hand in some tasks. This is just an introductory time for them. This exposure is continued in their sophomore year. If the student still hasn’t been able to find a trade that suits them then they will continue the job shadowing for their Junior year as well.
INTENSIVE HANDS ON TRAINING
Generally by their Junior year, students have decided what interest them most and will focus on that trade. Under this intensive system, the students will spend two full days each week working side by side with our professionals. They will actually be producing products or carrying out tasks that are required in the real world. They will adjust to an 8 hour work day and meeting expectations of an employer. For some this is a difficult adjustment but necessary if they hope to find jobs outside of IDEA Philippines businesses.
NEW THRUST IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING
There are still many Deaf living on Bohol and Leyte that have never been to school. They come to an age when it is impractical to put these individuals in elementary school. For this reason IDEA Philippines plans to begin an intensive language and vocational training program that will “fast track” them into employability.
Typically these Deaf will be in their late teens up to 35 years old. They have no language and no skills. In one year’s time, IDEA Philippines intends to give them ability to communicate in sign and train them to do a job. The skills training will emphasize cottage industries or products they can make back in their homes.