Triguboff Switch Centre hosts the first Quiet Voice program for deaf and hard of hearing members of the Bedouin Community

January 7, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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16 women have completed the first Quiet Voice program for deaf and hard of hearing members of the Negev Bedouin community.

Graduates and teachers

The program, which took place at the Switch Centre in the Idan Hanegev Industrial Park,

The Quiet Voice program for deaf of the Negev Bedouin community held its first graduation ceremony, celebrating the members of the program’s first class. The program included digital literacy workshops in a wide variety of fields, which were designed to improve course participants’ digital media communication skills. The first class of 16 deaf and hard of hearing women, members of the Negev Bedouin community attended six sessions in which they acquired a comprehensive set of Internet communication skills. There is relatively high percentage of hard of hearing and deaf for genetic reasons among a community in the Siyad tribe in the North western part of the Negev .

Digital skills play a particularly important role in the current times, with restricted access to physical spaces and an increasing emphasis on online activity, and especially in a community that suffers from poor infrastructure. In this program, participants learned how to conduct themselves vis a vis National Insurance Municipal and State agency’s online representatives, navigate websites, and safely make purchases online. They also became familiar with specific Arabic apps for hard of hearing individuals and other useful resources.

This is the first joint initiative of the Switch Centre, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, and the El-Kassum Regional Council. In 2019, the Switch Center for Training and Advancement of Employment in Bedouin Society commenced its operations in the Idan Hanegev Business Park, jointly owned by Rahat, Bnei Shimon, and Lehavim.

In recent months, AJEEC-NISPED, an Arab-Jewish organization dedicated to social-economic development in Bedouin society and Arab-Jewish partnership, and the Switch Center, which promotes employment opportunities for the Bedouin community, joined forces to develop and offer programs designed to increase employment in Bedouin society.

Howard Myers, Chair of the Switch Centre said: “I am standing here today, full of excitement! There is no other more appropriate word than excitement. I am confident that after you completed this course, it will be much easier for you to navigate websites such as the National Insurance, banks, and other institutions. And I am extremely proud that the course took place here, at the Switch Center. “

Samir Abu Aabed, course instructor on behalf of the Switch Centre added: “This was the first time that I taught this course to a group of the deaf, alongside a sign language interpreter. It was a very meaningful experience and I hope that we can continue to operate other similar programs.”

Hana Jinji, Director of the Quiet Voice Program on behalf of the JDC commented: “The aim of this program was to train and integrate deaf and hard of hearing individuals into Bedouin society and into the general society, by teaching them digital skills and Israeli sign language.”

The Triguboff Institute CEO Shalom Norman added: “It is our mission to promote integration and employment of women in the Bedouin Community. This group of young mothers that demonstrated great motivation to learn new skills and explore new opportunities in so many areas, are role models to the entire community – because if they could make in spite of their limitations anyone can make it.

I would like to thank JDC for their involvement and partnership. We are committed to further collaborate in promoting such new initiatives! Norman concluded.

Program participants expressed their great satisfaction from the contents they learned in the course, and shared their experiences using the digital skills they learned. They added that the course made an important contribution to their everyday lives, and especially during the pandemic, and they would be interested in a follow-up course in the future.”

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