Kumpas: A Basic Sign Language Seminar-Workshop for Medical Students – Philippines (AMSA-Philippines)

Name of the activity: Kumpas: A Basic Sign Language Seminar-Workshop for Medical Students

Country/NMO: Philippines (AMSA-Philippines)

Program: Dignified & Non-Discriminatory Healthcare


Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education


General description:

AMSA FEU-NRMF recognizes the importance of learning basic sign language for inclusion of the Deaf community in decision making for their health care needs. Kumpas is a program for interested 1st yr – 4th yr medical students. This program aims to equip the participants the skill which enables them to effectively communicate with persons with hearing disabilities; that in the end, the participants may be able to avoid errors in the treatment and prescriptions due to inadequate communication, and to truly establish a connection with patients with hearing disabilities and thus being able to give a more comprehensive care.

Focus area:

Vulnerable or marginalized populations | Persons with disabilities

Problem statement:

As there is a barrier in communication because of their disability, they often do not have a pleasant experience in the hospital setting. Such is the cause of the anxiety and apprehension of the deaf community in seeking medical consult. Without the proper skills for communicating especially with the deaf community, there exists the possibility of discriminatory health care. This problem happens on a daily basis, not only in the Philippines but in the whole world.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

The program will be targeting medical students, and possibly other students who will be health care providers in the future. The beneficiaries would be the deaf community in general. As more and more health care providers are trained to communicate with them effectively, their medical needs will be catered accurately.

Objectives and indicators of success:

Project Objectives are as follows:

1. To enable medical students to begin to acquire proficiency in basic sign language through a linguistic, communicative, and cultural approach
2. To gain insight into deaf culture, the importance and risks of proper and inaccurate communication
3. To develop receptive strategies to facilitate communication for future medical practice
4. To create an environment of openness to people with disability


The program was held last September 20, 2017 (Wednesday) at the Alfonso Hall, FEU NRMF from 12:00PM – 5:00PM. The program was divided into two parts – the seminar proper and workshop proper. In the seminar proper, facilitators discussed about the deaf Culture – the common misconceptions about their community and the do’s and dont’s in communicating. After the seminar, there was a forum wherein students were encourage to ask questions for further understanding of the issue. In the workshop proper, participants were taught the basic sign language. Practice sessions were done after. Post evaluation was done by the organizer to assess the effectivity of the event.

Plans for evaluation:

The project is evaluated based on several indicators of success. Feedback is collated both from the organizers of the event, the responsible NMO, and the participants as well. The participants are given an evaluation form, wherein several aspects of the project (i.e. quality, relevance, place, food, overall satisfaction etc.). The number of attending participants is also an indicator of success. Another indicator of success would be coming from the evaluation of whether or not the participants were able to learn the basics of the sign language. The overseeing organizers of the event may just judge the active participation of the participants during the practice session of the event.

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