2005 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Service—Hearing and Speech

Quota International of Las Piñas The Philippines

QI of Las Piñas makes a world of difference in the their community with citizens of all ages, such as with disable children as pictured above. In assessing their service work, club members might have been satisfied with the Christmas party they held for hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired adults last year. The event—which featured food, prizes, and other surprises—was a success, but this was just the beginning. Through the event, Quota club members developed a deeper understanding of the needs of the those with hearing and speech difficulties and, ultimately, created an educational program to remove barriers to their success. The Las Piñas Quota club sought the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare, and together they launched a plan of action to train five teachers in basic sign language to instruct the hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired in literacy classes.

The club identified space for the classes, trained teachers, and recruited students, ultimately starting literacy classes in three schools. There were classes for children ages 5 to 11 and separate classes for those 12 years and over. The classes run for 10 months, and the goal is for graduates of the first level of literacy classes to continue further training. Completing the entire training will qualify them to teach first-level classes.

Attention is given not only to what happens in the classroom, but what the students will do once the training ends. It is hoped that students will be prepared for active participation in the workforce. Some of the qualifying candidates will work in the business community, while others will find employment as sign language interpreters.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

Quota International of Sioux City Iowa, United States

Many people take the s’mores, swimming, and storytelling of the summer camp experience for granted. For hard-of-hearing children in Sioux City, summer camp has never been an option. The nearest overnight camp is 100 miles away and too expensive for them to attend. Even in Sioux City, they rarely get to swim. Without their hearing aids and cochlear implants, it’s not safe in a regular swimming pool, making even a taste of the summer camp experience just a dream.

The dream came true, thanks to the Sioux City Quota club, a group of Quotarians known for innovative programs that support the hearing-impaired, including last year’s “Signing Santa.” This year, the group started the area’s first overnight camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

“Camp Q” began as an overnight trip on the local Goodwill Industries campground. For two days and one night in July, children took part in activities like scavenger hunts, nature hikes, and arts-and-crafts. A deaf woman from Goodwill Industries signed a story in sign language and answered the children’s questions about her work. Of course, no camp experience would be complete without swimming, and with the supervision of interpreters and a deaf lifeguard, they had the opportunity to splash, swim, and throw water balloons.

Seeing the smiles of happy campers as they ate, played, and swam provided Sioux City Quota club members with great satisfaction— especially because the trip came at no cost to the children and their families. Television news coverage of the event stirred enormous interest in the Quota club throughout the community. There is nothing quite like a new hands-on project to fill club members with enthusiasm and pride and provide a meaningful experience for those they support.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

To return to the 2005 Excellence Award Winners main page, click here.

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