Introduction / History There were 14 Deaf schools established in the 1800 and today at least three Deaf secondary schools in the country, Rome, Turin and Padua. There are at least 5 elementary schools with Deaf programs scattered in the country with many private mainstreamed day classes in religious schools. Signs are forbidden in the schools but widely used in Deaf clubs. There is a strong oralist tradition in the country, which is why there are many regional Italian dialects.
There are at least 2 Deaf churches in Rome and Florence with many clubs scatted through the whole country with sports clubs being very popular. With only two Deaf churches and multiple signed ministries there is much need for leadership training throughout the country. Many Deaf are underemployed due to a lack of adequate vocational training and live on a small government subsidy. Deaf seem to be somewhat apathetic about religious things as the country has a history of institutionalized Roman Catholic influence. This means that many Deaf attend mass without real compression of the meaning of the service. The greatest need in the country is for Deaf to understand God's word and become believers who are grounded in their faith.