Updated: Feb 19
For deaf people a community whether it is an organization, an educational institution, a group or a business, is a place where they can interact, feel connected, be supported and work together to overcome the challenges they face.
Community is a dynamic set of individuals with a purpose that it evolves into an organized system including interdependent roles, institutions, common goals, values, attitudes and behaviors that address the needs of the organization’s members, and the wider society as well. For deaf people the sense of community is very strong. Deaf communities in all parts of our world have cooperate in complementary efforts to achieve common goals such as linguistic rights and accessibility.
“In deaf communities we need today more than ever before, leaders who will face both current and upcoming challenges. Leaders who will not be afraid to take risks. Deaf leaders who will aim high, with high standards of comparison”
Building a feeling of community supports individual development and the community’s development as well; minimizes insecurity and makes all members of the community/group/organization better partners, better neighbors, better friends. Consequently, deaf communities become challenging places for the personal growth of their members. Mutual respect and cooperation are key elements for creating an environment where all members of deaf communities feel secure and connected.
Educating the next generation of deaf leaders
What is of paramount importance in deaf communities’ development and growth is the crucial role of their leaders. Effective leadership is of prime importance to advance the personal growth of deaf people and their organizations as well. Considering that we live in a world of complex global challenges that profoundly affect our society, skills development of deaf leaders stands out as one of the biggest challenges.
Deaf leaders are constantly required to increase their knowledge and cultivate their skills in order to be able to respond effectively to the various problems they may face in the demanding environments in which they work. New technologies and continuing education are areas of paramount importance for those leading deaf people’s lives. But again, technology and education alone are not enough. The rapidly changing requirements of today’s world require an approach that will allow deaf leaders in all parts of our world to adapt to changing circumstances and new environments with success. Today, more than ever before governments, educational institutions, NGOs, and private businesses need to work together to develop strategies and approaches that will provide our deaf leaders access to ongoing training and new technologies.
“Deaf leaders are constantly required to increase their knowledge and cultivate their skills in order to be able to respond effectively to the various problems they may face in the demanding environments in which they work”
Leading communities is not about the concentration of power or about increasing the followers. It is that element that can lead people, a business, any organization or group, either in success or stagnation, sometimes even in destruction. A leader is one who brings people together, inspiring enthusiasm for a common vision. He is the one who leads by example and takes the initiative. It is he who gains the confidence of people to work together. It’s the leader who motivates everyone to think and act in the common good.
In deaf communities we need today more than ever before, leaders who will face both current and upcoming challenges. Leaders who will not be afraid to take risks, and who have the qualities needed to inspire deaf people to follow them with their hearts. We need people in our communities who will embrace knowledge and innovation, and will leverage new ideas. Deaf leaders who will aim high, with high standards of comparison.
International Development Specialist
in Deaf Education & Empowering Deaf Communities