How Vietnam’s Deaf Community protected themselves during the pandemic

When the Deaf Community faced obstacles in accessing COVID-related information, one organisation in Vietnam stepped up to protect its own community
Thuy Tien, PARD Vietnam

Thuy Tien, founder of a deaf community organization in Vietnam, developed a video to document the organization’s efforts to meet the needs of the deaf community during the pandemic. The video shows Tien signing to explain the history of the failed oralism approach imposed upon deaf schools in Vietnam, leading to deaf students’ high drop-out rates from school. As a result, many deaf people in Vietnam do not read fluently, and have trouble accessing news information during the pandemic. In response, Tien’s organization, Psycho-Education and Applied Research Center for the Deaf (PARD), develops its own sign-language news program, by and for deaf people, with the goal of disseminating accurate health information and more during the pandemic. Their program gained such popularity that PARD began to train other deaf clubs in different parts of Vietnam to develop their own local news programs. Tien highlights the ingenuity and innovation of Vietnam’s deaf community during this pandemic and reminds us that the deaf community’s best advocates are always deaf people themselves.

— July 2021

This video is commissioned by Innovation for Change – East Asia’s. It is part of a project called COVID-19 Stories from the Margins. Through the project, the hub equipped six individuals from marginalized communities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam with skills to share their own experiences and lessons from the pandemic.

Nguyen Tran Thuy Tien is the Director of Psycho-Education and Applied Research Center for the Deaf (PARD), a deaf-led non-profit organization in Vietnam. Tien and her team at PARD produced short videos and educational tools to educate deaf people about COVID-19. 


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