Deaf in Jamaica



Population

Unknown

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Introduction / History

The members of the Jamaican deaf community are located on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. The highest population is found in the capital city of Kingston with other significant populations found in Mandeville, St. Elizabeth parish, and Montego Bay. Though the exact number of signing deaf people is uncertain, the national deaf association has estimated that there are 27,000 people with hearing loss.

There are twelve deaf schools and two vocational training programs. The national deaf association runs seven schools and one vocational program and religious entities operate the other five schools and vocational program. The association-run schools are pursuing a bilingual approach using both written English and Jamaican Sign Language (JSL), a natural signed language with a distinct grammar from English. Three of the religious schools, which are affiliated, use a Signed English/Total Communication approach (manual signs following English grammar and signing and speaking at the same time) while the other schools use Jamaican Sign Language. Few deaf students are mainstreamed into hearing classrooms.

Deaf Jamaicans often gather at deaf associations, deaf clubs, social gatherings, and religious services where they use Jamaican Sign Language. There is one national deaf association, headquartered in Kingston. There are several deaf clubs and regular gathering places where deaf people socialize during the weekends. There are eleven deaf religious services—three are evangelical and eight are Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Halls. Some churches provide interpreted services. There are few, or no, resources available in JSL although there are English-language books with biographies of deaf Jamaicans.

Many deaf Jamaicans have difficulty securing employment, but the people who do have jobs are often employed in deaf education, association-related, or manual labor positions. The Jamaican deaf community is unified with a common identity and is very proud to have its own Jamaican deaf culture. Jamaican deaf people indicate that their primary community development needs are more skilled interpreters, a Jamaican Sign Language dictionary, and improved education.



Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Population in Jamaica 0
World Population Unknown
Countries 216
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Deaf
People Cluster Deaf
People Name General Deaf
Ethnic Code
People ID 19007

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Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Jamaican Country Sign Language Jamaican Sign Language
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Jamaican Country Sign Language Jamaican Sign Language
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Printed Matter Door International

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 14.90 %)
83.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
5.00 %
Other / Small
2.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
4.0 %
Independent
12.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
34.0 %
Protestant
45.0 %
Roman Catholic
5.0 %
Photo Source: David Bennett  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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