“I spent 14 years at home with my son. Ahmad and I left the house for the first-time last year, to attend Medair’s sign language sessions, and now he likes to go outside and play with children, after he found a way to communicate with others” Maysar said.
Ahmad is 14 years old, and lives with his mother Maysar, who is Jordanian and his father, who is Egyptian. Ahmad is deaf since birth, and for the past 14 years, Ahmad hasn’t left his home due to his mother’s fears and concerns about his vulnerability because of his communication challenges. This was until they heard about the sign language sessions delivered by Medair in their community.
One of Maysar’s neighbours told her about the sign language sessions and offered to register Ahmad. Ahmad and his mother were enrolled in the sign language sessions, and when attending the first session, it was Ahmad’s first time leaving his home. At the beginning of the course, Ahmad was shy and fearful, as this was his first-time meeting strangers. He remained quiet during the first few sessions, but after three sessions, he started interacting with other children and making friends. He was delighted to find a way to connect with others.
After completing two levels of the sign language sessions, Ahmad’s character has changed. He is now happier, more confident, and less angry. His mother now depends on him to go outside and buy things for her.
Maysar explained the difference to Ahmad’s life, “He used to be so angry, but after the sessions, Ahmad’s attitude changed. He is quiet, happy, and likes to communicate with other children. This is the first time I’ve asked him to buy something for me, and he brought exactly what I asked for”.
Maysar explains that she uses what she’s learnt from the sign language session to communicate better with her son. “I can’t express my gratitude enough. The trainer was incredibly patient and kind with the children, encouraging their interaction during the sessions. You’ve enabled a great change in my son.” said Maysar.
Medair provides basic sign language sessions for children with hearing disability and their principal caregivers in Amman, Mafraq and Irbid. During the first level the children learn how to express words using sign language, and in the second level they start learning how to link these words and to make full sentences. Medair also provides review sessions to ensure that all children are able to use the words and can communicate with each other.
Since October 2022 Medair has delivered 40 sessions, targeting 54 children and their caregivers in Amman and Irbid. In October 2023, Medair will provide sessions with new groups of children with hearing disability in Amman, Irbid and Mafraq.
Ahmad’s sister shared her thoughts after attending the last session. “In the last session, which was a review session, I went with Ahmad because my mother couldn’t go. I was truly impressed by how well the children could communicate with each other, engaging in lengthy conversations on different topics using sign language”
Medair’s Social Protection programme and sign language sessions are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.