Center for International Education


Deaf Education and Empowerment

Deaf children and young adults in Ethiopia comprise a traditionally marginalized community in one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. They face discrimination in education, health care, job skills training and everyday communication and activities. In partnership with an organization in Ethiopia, volunteers with a special interest in working with this population and their families have been developing a program involving skills and job training, public education and specialized educational support.

Program Highlights:

Visions Global Empowerment, a Los Angeles-based global nonprofit organization operating education programs in Ethiopia, India and Sri Lanka is planning, coordinating and leading this program in conjunction with Nazareth College. This year’s program will be the third time a group of Nazareth students are participating in the experience. Participants will be spending time with local deaf leaders, engaging with students and faculty at Bahir Dar University, conducting a 3-4 day language enrichment learning experience for deaf children at a primary school in Bahir Dar, and learning about the issues that shape the lives of deaf people in Ethiopia.

Program participants will also have an opportunity to visit local development projects, meet with local non-governmental organizations, and make field visits to projects for communities in need. Periodic sightseeing trips and leisure activities to fascinating locations in Ethiopia including visits to the castles of Gondar and churches of Lalibela round out the program to make this a powerful cross-cultural exchange and learning experience.

Program Details

Program Dates
SAMPLE 2018 Itinerary
Program Costs and Eligibility
Living Accommodations
Travel Visa and Other Documents


    "During the Deaf Education and Empowerment program, I saw how thirsty these students were for language and it was amazing to see their signs develop." — Mary Hamme '14G
    Read more about the student experience in Ethiopia »

    At A Glance

    Semester: Winter Break

    Program Level: Undergraduate and Graduate

    Program Type: Experiential Learning (Not for Credit) 

    Major(s): Open to all majors, but may be better suited for the following majors/minors:

    • Communication Sciences and Disorders
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Occupational Therapy

    Language Requirement: None

    Cumulative GPA Requirement: 2.5

    Contact the Program Director:

    Heather Coles

    Heather Coles

    Clinical Assistant Professor in Communication Sciences & Disorders
    York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute 229