SMILE for HIs, or "Skills Mentoring and Innovative Livelihood Education for Hearing Impaired Adolescents and Young Adults" is an extension project based on the recommendations of the study of Alcoreza and Zubieto (2012) entitled, “Need Assessment of Hearing Impaired Adolescents and Young Adults: Basis for Designing a Non Formal Education” to offer a skills-training program for Hearing Impaired individuals. It is guided by the provisions of the Magna Carta for Disable Persons.

This program is in support to the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between SLSU and Lucban Association of Differently Abled Person (LADAP), one of the adopted communities of the University. LADAP is a non-profit organization that supports the needs of Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Lucban, Quezon. The agreement includes a partnership in facilitating seminar and livelihood trainings to differently abled persons. However, HIs from other localities near SLSU were also accommodated like the Samahan ng mga may Kapansanan sa Mauban (SAKAMA) of Mauban, Quezon and the PWD Federation of Tayabas City. The Municipality of Mauban and SLSU also entered into a MOA for this project while the HIs from Tayabas City were supported by the local school fund of the Tayabas City School District.

Background and Objectives of the Project

The problems of the HIs does not only concern themselves but their entire family. It is rooted from inadequate means of livelihood which they need the most. The vocational preferences of the HIs are covert manifestations of their desire to be productive and to contribute to their family’s income and also a way to improve their personality or self-esteem. Also, it is a manifestation that they wanted to advance their knowledge in technology like their normal hearing peers. These suggest for the offering of skills training programs to equip them with work skills that they can use in seeking open employment or putting up sheltered source of living. A short course program on personality development was also offered before the technical programs to prepare them and enhance the weak aspects of their personality and to ensure the sustainability of the program. Willing parents of HIs were also given parenting seminars to help them understand the condition and respond to the needs of their children better.

With these premises, the concept of this program was realized in order to address the needs of the Hearing Impaired adolescents and young adults (HIs) in terms of psycho-socio-educational intervention and technical and vocational skills that will ensure better and sustainable employment or source of living. This will, in turn, uplift their sense of self, their lives in general and their families as well.

Specifically, this project aims to: (1) impart psycho-socio-educational intervention and its integration among HIs and their parents for them to manage themselves properly, develop a healthy sense of well-being and establish good family support; (2) teach and develop technical and vocational skills among HIs in specific areas like computer technology, baking or culinary arts and electronics; and (3) enhance the participants’ self-esteem and interpersonal skills and personality in general by providing them a means of living or an avenue for open employment.

SMILE for HIs: A Multi-sectoral collaboration

The title of the project follows the acronym SMILE which stands for skills mentoring and innovative livelihood education for hearing impaired adolescents and young adults. The word “smile” connotes many positive meanings such as happiness, positive feelings, pleasure or affection. Despite their disability, just like everyone, they deserve equal opportunities. And in order to provide them opportunities for sheltered employment that may ease their burden as well as their families, this SMILE for HIs extension project is being implemented as a gesture of cheerful acceptance, friendliness or to recover cheerfully from a misfortune. With this extension projects, “we smile away their tears.”

The main components of the Non-formal Education (NFE) program are vocational/ technical training programs. Specifically, three courses were offered: (1) computer technology, (2) cooking or baking and electronics, based on the inclination of the HIs as indicated in the study of Alcoreza and Zubieto (2012). Complementary programs were also offered: (1) for the HIs, a short course on personality development, whereas (2) for the parents, a psycho-socio-educational seminar for parenting was facilitated.

In choosing the training programs to be offered, vocational preferences of the HIs, availability of manpower, materials and funding sources were considered. Coordination with the College of Industrial Technology was sought for the facilities, available instructors and course design. The help and support of other government agencies like Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Local Government Units (LGUs) through their respective City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDO) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) supporting the plight of PWDs (Persons’ with Disability) were sought.

The College of Industrial Technology at SLSU Main Campus was the venue of the training sessions, since the facilities, instructional materials, pool of experts and technology are available in the said college. Sessions for personality development and parenting seminars were conducted at the College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology Department.

The Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SSP), an affiliate of the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP) and the official student organization of the College of Arts and Sciences AB Psychology Program was actively involved in this project. Since senior members of the organization have completed basic and advanced sign language courses, they served as student-facilitators in terms of language translation during the duration of each program component together with some SPED teachers who volunteered and participated for this program. Also, the members of other student-organization such as the Association of Computer Technology Students (ACTS) and the Food Experts and Analysts of Science and Technology (FEAST) served as additional manpower for the execution of the activity as it could also serve as an opportunity for them to learn. With this, the multi-sectoral involvement of various stakeholders for extension activities where the school administration, faculty members, students, LGUs, NGOs and local schools come together can be noted.

The beneficiaries of this program were the Hearing Impaired adolescents and young adults (HIs) from localities in Quezon Province adjacent to Lucban, Quezon where the project is being implemented. These localities include the Municipalities of Lucban, and Mauban and the City of Tayabas. Their age ranges from 12-32, mostly unmarried, where 10 (37%) are females and 17 (63%) are males. They obtained minimal formal education as most of them completed elementary education, while some have completed high school. Almost all of them are knowledgeable in sign language as means of communication. Their families are mostly intact and supportive. Some parents are employed, earning an average income of about 3, 800 pesos, and others reported no income indicative of unemployment.

Based on the research of Alcoreza and Zubieto (2012), the vocational interests of the HIs are distributed. The most prominent are computer technology, cooking or culinary arts, and electronics. The results of their interest/ vocational assessment test were the basis for the course that they will pursue. A maximum of 75 HIs (25 per course) will be accommodated in the first offering of the entire program.

Moreover, acknowledging the importance of family support, as suggested in the article of Lehtomaki (2001) that deafness requires the family to review the role of social interaction in the child’s development, the parents of the HIs are considered to be indirect beneficiaries of this program. A specific program component of this project includes seminar-workshop addressing their needs in proper managing, handling and dealing with their differently abled children. This component will strengthen the sustainability of this project.

Paving ways for SMILE for HIs to happen

The SMILE for HIs extension project proposal was first presented to various stakeholders such as school administrators, SPED teachers, technical skills assessors and PWD advocates. After providing inputs, it was presented to various sectors for possible financial support. Upon determining the feasibility of the project, it was submitted to the Office of the Extension Services (OES) of the University. It was scrutinized further by the members of the Research and Extension Council. Their recommendation was included in the final paper that was presented before a panel of evaluators from Southern Tagalog Agriculture Research and Development Consortium (STARDEC) during the University Research and Extension In-House Review. Additional inputs from the evaluators were included. The final evaluated paper was submitted for the approval of the Board of Regents (BOR) as an institutionalized extension project. By virtue of BOR Resolution No. 1033, series of 2015 (123rd BOR Regular Meeting, 2015), it was granted the amount of 60, 626 pesos as SLSU budgetary counterpart.

Upon its approval, the project management team together with For. Felino Guitierrez, Director for Extension Services, presented the paper for a partnership agreement to fund and support the SMILE for HIs project which later on resulted in the grant of 79, 900 pesos from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). This was followed by retracing the previous respondents of the need-assessment and identification of additional beneficiaries of the project. In the first implementation of the program, it was decided to limit the target to the first district of Quezon Province specifically to the localities adjacent to SLSU. Faculty members of SLSU visited communities in Sampaloc, Mauban, Lucban and Tayabas to gather possible trainees. However, the Municipality of Sampaloc was unable to identify and recommend HIs that could take part of the skills training. For this reason, Sampaloc was not included in the program.

Meanwhile, a collaborative meeting was held with department chairpersons and the dean of the College of Industrial Technology and the project management team for the finalization of the course design where the number of trainees was an important consideration. Available faculty members and possible schedules were identified. This was followed by the formalization of the agreement with the LGUs thru MOA signing. The provision of food and transportation allowance among the trainees from their respective localities were highlighted as counterpart for the LGUs.

The project was formally launched in October 2016 through a Course Orientation Program. This activity was intended to acquaint the participants about the nature of course offerings. They were given the freedom to choose from the three (3) options that include short courses in computer technology, baking and basic electronics. The project also considered the results of the Multiple Intelligences test administered during their workshop on personality development. This component of the program also included a laboratory tour to further introduce the courses by presenting the needed facilities and equipment.

Course Orientation and Laboratory Tour

SMILE for HIs Collaborators

Project Leader:

Mr. Gino Cabrera, RPm

Needs Assessment:

Prof. Virginia S. Alcoreza

Prof. Rene P. Zubieto

Extension Services Officers, Coordinators and Staff:

For. Felino J. Gutierrez

Ms. Arceli R. Obmerga

Prof. Julie E. Avila

Prof. Wendell M. Pangilinan

Prof. Rene P. Zubieto

Prof. Devie S. Bello

Cooperating Agencies

Luis Palad National High School, Tayabas City

Paaralang Sekundarya ng Lucban, Lucban, Quezon

Mauban South Elementary School, Mauban, Quezon

Funding Agencies

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Quezon Province

Municipality of Mauban, Mauban, Quezon

Luis Palad National High School, Tayabas, City

Student Organizations

Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SSP) - AB Psychology, SLSU

Association of Computer Technology Students (ACTS) - BSIT Computer Technology, SLSU

Feast Experts and Analysts of Science and Technology (FEAST) - BSIT Food Technology, SLSU

Electronics Students Society (ESS) - BSIT Electronics Technology, SLSU

SpED Teachers (DepEd Schools)

Ms. Lolita D. Eder

Mrs. Sarah O. Mendoza

Mr. Owen E. Mendoza

Mr. Raniel A. Fabella

Mr. Gilbert Dealino

Ms. Monalette M. Cabawatan

Ms. Julieta C. Esguerra

Mr. Sherwen T. Ferreras

Facilitators (CAS Psychology Program)

Dr. Mari Jane A. Lee

Dr. Ma. Elna R. Cosejo

Prof. Fides Joyce O. Llegado

Ms. Michelle V. Ramirez

Mr. Gino Cabrera

Ms. Noreen P. Echague

Trainers (CIT - BSIT Program)

Mr. Reynaldo V. Danganan

Mr. Omar Maravilla

Dr. Jose D. Sanvictores

Mr. Sherwin R. Pernia

Ms. Aurita A. Laguador

Ms. Shyrille O. Lopez

Dr. Ricaryl Catherine P. Cruz

Mr. Lyndon John S. Mangonon

Mr. Chester Allan M. Mendez

Mr. Marwin Calupig

The SMILE for HIs Extension Project is a non-formal education offering. The core of the program are short-term courses designed for the Hearing Impaired students (HIs). This activity is intended to acquaint the targeted participants about the nature of course offerings. They are given the freedom to choose from the three (3) options that includes short-course in computer technology, commercial cooking or culinary course with concentration in baking and basic electronics course. The project also considered the results of the Multiple Intelligences test administered during their workshop on personality development. This component of the program is in partnership with the College of Industrial Technology. The said college have qualified faculty to teach the said courses as well as the needed facilities and equipment.

The start of the seminar, was the welcoming remarks of Ms. Silvia S. Palmero, a personnel from the Extension Services Office of Southern Luzon State University (SLSU). Ms. Palmero discussed the plans tied up between the extension services office and SLSU College of Arts and Sciences, AB Psychology Department, and explained the flow of the activity. As Teacher Sarah Mendoza helped all throughout the day by interpreting the words into sign language for the participants to understand.

After Ms. Palmero’s explanation was the further discussion of Mr. Gino A. Cabrera about the overview of the weekly activities to be done with the Hearing Impaired students (HIs) from Mauban and Lucban Quezon. The first one who talked about the short course in Computer Technology was Mr. Reynaldo Danganan, a faculty of College of Industrial Technology’s (CIT’s) Computer Technology Department, he gave and overview of what is going to be the HIs activities like introducing and enhancing the skills regarding to the use of Microsoft Office such as MS Word, Power Point Presentation and Spreadsheets Excel, as well as the responsible use of internet in terms of Social Networking Sites and Researches.

Following, was Mr. Sherwin R. Pernia, a Professor from CIT’s Food and Beverage Technology, who discussed prior knowledges about baking. Furthermore, Mr. Pernia reiterated some points about what and which baking products are they going to make.

The last topic was discussed by Mr. Jose D. Sanvictores, professor in Electronics Technology. He introduced his plans and objectives for the said project, where Prof. Sanvictores will teach the H.I. students on how to work with basic electronics, he gave basic knowledge about the things that they will encounter during the activity.

The talks and discussions were followed by the tour to the CIT building where they will conduct their training sessions every Saturday. First off, they went to the Food and Beverage Laboratory where the HI’s were able to witness students who were working at the said laboratory.

Next, the HI’s went to the Electronics Laboratory, wherein they saw the examples of the tools and equipment that they will assemble when they finish the short course in electronics.

Lastly, on the facility tour, they went to the Computer Laboratory where they were allowed to use and utilize the computer units and the internet connection.

The HI.students together with some of their parents enjoyed and rested during lunch break. This is to prepare themselves for the next activities wherein two seminars are simultaneously held at one in the afternoon at the SLSU Library’s ground and 3rd floor.

Parenting Seminar

The SMILE for HIs Extension Project is an institutionalized community program spearheaded by the College of Arts and Sciences, AB Psychology Program in partnership with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development in coordination with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices of Lucban and Mauban, Quezon in line of the existing memorandum of agreement between two municipalities. This is a seminar-type of activity which dwells on the topics on the role of parents in building confidence among children and the importance of parental involvement in educating a child. This included learning sessions facilitated by faculty members of the AB Psychology program whose expertise are in line with the nature of the activity and the objective of the program. The participants of the seminar are parents of the Hearing Impaired students (HIs) under the technical skills education courses of the same program. This complements the personality development workshop for the HIs.

The seminar commence right after lunch. As early as 12:30 the roll call of participants was done. Mr. Gino A. Cabrera mentioned the objectives of the activity and the expected outcomes. The seminar-proper started off with the introduction of the first speaker, Dr. Mari Jane Anglo-Lee, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Lee asked the parents regarding their ways of communicating with their children and how they interact as a family. One parents narrated “Three years old nung mapansin kong may kakaiba sa kanya, hindi siya nagre-respond pag tinatawag ko ang pangalan niya”. Majority of the parents have no proper sign language schooling, they just communicate with them arbitrarily.

She also discussed on how to boost the self-esteem and self-confidence of a special child with hearing disabilities. She made mention that self-respect serve as a foundation along with respect of each family members to one another, another point she mentioned is that to keep their child happy, “Pag naging masaya ang anak, maganda ang patutunguhan pero may limit or boundaries din” she said.

After the talk with Dr. Lee, the parents are given a short working break before the second speaker start. Prof. Fides Joyce O. Llegado, head of Scholarship and Financial Assistance Office prepared an activity for the parents before she started her talk, each parent is asked to write the responsibility of a mother to a child in a meta card and told them to say it in front of others. After the activity, Prof. Llegado started her talk about how to build relationship not only for the mother and the child, but also for the family as a whole.

The parents participated with the talk of the two speakers, opened up some of their experiences and problems, some cried, and some listed down notes and tips.

The day ended by the awarding of certificates to the participants and the facilitators.

Personality Development Workshop

This workshop, held on October 20, 2016, served as preparatory activity for the Hearing Impaired students (HIs) for their technical-vocational trainings. It was conceptualized to boost their self-esteem, improve their values and learning habits, develop a positive thought pattern as well as healthy physique. The lecture discussion was based on the nature of their personality for them to be open-minded of the things that they have to accept and to change. This learning session was a parallel seminar of the parenting workshop and a complimentary course for the skills training. Psychological assessment of their needs was done to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness, building confidence, interpersonal skills, decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking were part of the design of the activity which were discussed by psychology teachers and guidance counsellors.

The seminar’s theme was “Exploring New Possibilities and Building Confidence through Life Skills Education.” It was held in the SLSU Library, Ground Floor near the SLSU Mini Museum. The first speaker was Dr. Ma. Elna R. Cosejo, the Program Chairperson of AB Psychology program. She first asked the students to answer a Multiple Intelligences Survey, a survey adapted from Walter McKenzie in 1999 Surfaquarium Consulting.

When the HI students are able to answer the survey, the students facilitators—Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino Organization Officers, helped Dr. Cosejo to interpret the results. In this manner, the students were able to know their strengths and weaknesses following the Multiple Intelligences Survey.

After, Dr. Cosejo discussed and explained the different kinds of Multiple Intelligences naming a few students who are prominent in the intelligence she is discussing. She also gave a few advices on how to use their dominant intelligence oh their favour of advantage. She stressed that the activity is one way to know onself. She also discussed tips on how to have a winning confidence and some important social skills that will facilitate healthier interpersonal relations.

Following Dr. Cosejo was Prof. Michelle V. Ramirez, RGC, the university guidance counsellor. First off, she invited the audiences to stand up and dance the Gummy Bear dance. In this manner, the audiences cheered up and had the energy to listen to her talk.

Her speech went around about the decision making, problem solving, and creative thinking. She also emphasized on how to deal with unexpected scenarios in life.

Furthermore, she reiterated the importance of choosing which of which things are supposed to be their priorities given their disability.

The day ended with the awarding of certificates to the participants and the facilitators.

Short Course in Computer Technology

The SMILE for HIs extension project offered its first skills training on the fourth quarter of the year 2016 (October 22-November 26, 2016) on the first semester of the university’s new calendar year. The computer technology course was offered as a response to the needs assessment conducted in 2012.Through an interest test, results revealed that one of the top interests of hearing impaired respondents is in computer manipulation. This training was intended for the HIs to learn skills associated with key application software, basic computing fundamentals and appropriate behavior while using the technology as a tool for employment.

The training was organized by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) where the said extension project is based. The trainers are the instructors from the College of Industrial Technology (CIT) Computer Technology department. In order to facilitate the training, the officers and some active members of the CAS Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SSP) and the CIT Association of Computer Technology Students (ACTS) served as the assistant trainers and shadow teachers for a more efficient teaching methodology. Aside from the SSP facilitators, the SPED teachers were also present for the sign language translation. The training program lasted for 6 weeks limited to Saturday classes to complete 42 hours of training.

The skills training for Computer technology lasted for 6 Saturdays completing 42 hours of learning sessions. The fundamental features of computer such as word, excel, powerpoint and publisher have been taught by competent and dedicated teachers from the College of Industrial Technology. With the possible impediment of language, the SPED teachers and the SSP Officers willingly lend time to translate the instruction from the trainers to the HIs. Also, the ACTS members served as shadow teachers for the participants to be guided in every single step to complete the computer exercises. The outputs of the students are either printed or saved into a rewritable CD.

Short Course in Cooking (Baking)

The second training course offering under the SMILE for HIs Extension program is a short-course in cooking that concentrates mainly in baking. This activity opens another possible sheltered employment or source of income for the beneficiaries of the said project. The course was executed in 3-day week end classes between February 19-March 5, 2017 that completes 24 hours of lectures and hands-on exercises in the food technology laboratory in the GAB building. The skills training was made possible through the initiative of the AB Psychology program of the College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with the College of Industrial Technology where the facilities needed and the technical experts came from. Student-facilitators both came from the CAS Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino, the student organization of psychology students and the CIT Feast Experts and Analysts of Science and Technology, the organization of students of food technology students. This project was in partnership between SLSU and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

Students/trainees came from Luis Palad National High School – Tayabas City, Paaralang Sekondarya ng Lucban – Lucban, Quezon and Mauban South Elementary School – Mauban, Quezon SPED classes and some are out-of-school youth from the same cities and municipality.

The short-course in baking lasted for 3 training days on a weekend schedule completing 24 hours of learning sessions. The fundamental skills in baking was taught on the first day where Ms. Aurita A. Laguador, food technology instructor, lectured on the micro skills necessary for hygienic and sanitary baking practice. The use of 3 towels of different color-codes, hairnet and apron has been stressed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sherwin R. Pernia, HRM instructor, demonstrated the skills in hands-on baking. He assisted in the accurate and precise measurement of all types of ingredients whether solid, dry and liquid. Mr. Pernia and Ms. Laguador jointly facilitated the first 3 hands-on activities that includes chocolate crinkles, chocolate chip cookies and banana cinnamon muffin. Afterwards, the students and teachers enjoined the tasting of their food products.

On the second day, Ms. Shyrille O. Lopez demonstrated the steps in doing cinnamon rolls and toasted siopao. The concluding part on the third day includes orange chiffon cake, swiss roll and diner roll which was delivered by Dr. Ricaryl Catherine P. Cruz, Mr. Pernia and Ms. Laguador. After all the hands-on activities, a closing ceremony was done recognizing the contribution of the lecturer-trainers and facilitators and the success of the completers.

Basic Electronics Course

The SMILE for HIs Extension project envisions hearing impaired individuals who are equipped with technical and life skills for sheltered employment or source of living. With this commitment, the third and last course offering was conducted in four (4) Sundays in October 2017. This 32-hour training is devoted to inculcate basic manipulative skills in electronics technology and servicing. The said training is organized by the AB Psychology program with some of its faculty and student-facilitators from Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SSP) in partnership with CIT’s BSIT Electronics Technology programs through its faculty members and members of the Electronics Student Society (ESS) as shadow teachers.

The Basic Electronics Course of the SMILE for HIs Extension Project lasted for 4-Sunday session covering a total of 32 training hours. Professors and Instructors from the Electronics program of College of Industrial Technology generously devoted their time and expertise in providing lectures and creating hands-on exercise among the participants while SPED teachers from PSL, MSES and LPNHS facilitate the sign language translation. With the help of the BSIT Electronics students (members of ESS) served as the shadow teachers who assisted the students in the completion of the hands-on activities. After 3 sessions, the last day of training was devoted for the final exercise that served as their final examination. They were instructed to bring home appliances needing to be repaired. They brought and repair desk fans, flat irons, electric kettles, speakers and other common devices at home. All of them felt accomplished for having successfully repaired their home appliances. A short evaluation followed.

Selected References

Alcoreza, Virginia S. and Zubieto, Rene P. (2012). Need-assessment of hearing impaired adolescents and young adults: Basis for designing a non-formal education program. Siyasig: Official Research Journal of Southern Luzon State University, 8(1). 121-135.

Lehtomaki, E. (2001). Inclusion and deafness: Linking the family, school and community. Retrieved from: