World Deaf Leadership
Name: Rian Gayle
Field of Study: International Development
I am Rian Gayle, a 2005 WDL scholarship recipient from Kingston, Jamaica who completed the scholarship in May 2010 with a MA in International development. Thanks to the several opportunities to develop my skills, educational background and gained experiences, that the WDL scholarship afforded, I was able to return to Jamaica and get right to work. I was involved in the Deaf Drivers for Equality campaign to lobby for drivers licenses for Deaf Jamaicans. It was a success as the law was later changed to allowed deaf persons to obtain drivers' licenses with fewer barriers. I am passionate about the Deaf community in which I grew up in and felt a deep urge to contribute in any ways I can. I did that by presenting about the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to several deaf leaders in Jamaica to sensitize them about their rights as a deaf person. I also attended a few school to play the role of a motivational speaker.
I also played an instrumental role in the establishing of the new Deaf Sports Jamaica organization which aims to use sporting activities to develop the deaf community for the better. I also established my own organization, Miss Deaf Jamaica to use beauty pageant to attract young deaf ladies then put them through a 1 month course to educate them about job-hunting, self-development and to encourage them to be advocates, leaders and ambassadors.
Through Miss Deaf Jamaica, I am able to employ a few of the strategies from the project that I designed through WDL which was to tackle unemployment within the deaf community. After successfully launching the Miss Deaf Jamaica organization with a well executed beauty pageant on December 18, 2010 with 8 beautiful contestants, I updated/designed the resumes of those contestants who are currently unemployed and send it out to several entities to seek jobs for them.
My current job position is Research Officer within the Jamaica Association for the Deaf which is a NGO in Jamaica that serves Deaf Jamaicans. A few of my responsibilities are:
- Collecting and researching information to set up a new "Deaf Library" at the head office that can be used to implement future projects.
- Collect data to build the contents of a new Deaf Study Curriculum to be used in Deaf schools across Jamaica around summer of 2011. This project is being sponsored by the Organization of American State.
- Leads the designing of a CRPD DVD which would simplify the CRPD through sign language on videos to conduct awareness about deaf rights. This is a project sponsored by the AUSAID.
- Helping with other projects which research is needed and the writing of proposals.