TSNE Staff Travel to the Philippines to Support Training Aimed at Employment Opportunities and Human-Rights Conditions for Deaf People

As part of a two-year program supported by the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW) Executive Director Davin Searls, along with program specialists Howard Rosenblum, CEO, National Association of the Deaf, and Heather Harker, Director of Programs, TSNE and incoming chair, Gallaudet University Board of Trustees, will travel to the Philippines this October to implement training on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), governance and government relations.

Through the U.S. Government’s $300,000 grant, DDW is implementing the “Expanding Participation of People with Disabilities in the Philippines Program” in partnership with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PFD) to advance the rights deaf communities through local capacity building. The trip will mark the third of six visits to the Philippines for DDW.

Since the program’s inception, 152 persons with disabilities have been trained and an additional 313 individuals will be targeted by the program’s completion in September 2015.

Rosenblum and Harker will utilize their expertise in disability law, organizational management and leadership, and will co-lead a series of workshops over the 10-day visit, which will include the legal and political motivations that form the basis for protection of human rights, leveraging the UNCRPD, leadership succession, and organizational communication systems. In addition, the workshops will enhance PFD’s capacity to work with the government on developing better educational programs, interpreter training, and overall accessibility for Filipino deaf people in line with UNCRPD’s objectives.

“I’m looking forward to a mutually beneficial learning opportunity with PFD and its member organizations to advance its governance and advocacy efforts,” says Heather Harker. “It will be exciting to share with one another and then to support the creation of PFD focused action plans to leverage their impact. I also expect to arrive back in the US with some new ideas to share with colleagues.”

For more information about the DDW program visit