Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Cambodia (Kampuchea)

Created 10 April 2000, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

Cambodian flagDavid Bar-TzurCambodian flag

map of Cambodia

Flag: World flag database.
Map: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

For a quick, interesting resource for facts about this and other countries,
try Mystic Planet - The New Age directory of Planet Earth.

Note: A flag next to a link shows what language the website is in. If it is followed by this icon: (video camera: This links to a video), it is a video in that spoken language. A flag followed by Sign Language iconmeans it is in the sign language of that country. globe (international icon)Sign Language iconmeans there is International Gesture.

Books on deafness Cambodian (Khmer) Sign Language Cambodian (Khmer) Sign Language dictionaries Deaf advocacy and politics Deaf and social services
Deaf culture Deaf education & youth Deaf painting and sculpture Deaf performing arts Religion & Deafness

Books on deafness

Lee, J. M. (1994, November 30). Silent lotus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN-10: 0374466467, ISBN-13: 978-0374466466. A lovely tale of a deaf-mute Hindu girl who uses her talents to dance for the gods and worshipers in the temple of Angkor Wat (Cambodia.)

Cambodian (Khmer) Sign Language

Disability Action Council. The development of Cambodian (Khmer) Sign Language.

jinja. (2006, February 6). sign_cambodia.

Melamed, S. Cambodia's Deaf wait for words of their own.

shaokangtan. (2007, June 18). sign language for shout to the lord.Cambodian flagSign Language iconSharen helps the sing language for one of the song in Cambodia mission.

Sprague, S. (2006, December 5). Signs of the times in Cambodia. Maryknoll priest associate helps develop new deaf sign language for a people who once had none

webbed feet, web log. (2006, February 10). Cambodian Sign LanguageCambodian flagSign Language icon is just starting to standardize as communication and travel in Cambodia becomes easier. The photos below link to video clips illustrating different signs in the vocabulary. These are from Kampot friends at Epic Arts' drop-in center run in coordination with the Deaf Development Program. They're working to grow it into a visitor friendly art space.

Cambodian (Khmer) Sign Language dictionaries

webbed feet, web log. (2006, February 10). Cambodian Sign Language.Cambodian flagSign Language icon Click on one of the four images to see the sign.

Deaf advocacy and politics

Sisovann, O. (2003). Accessible ICT Manila 2003 - Paper - Cambodia. For people with hearing impairments, sign language is usually a primary means of communication. In order for sign language to be an effective means of communication, a standardized sign language needs to be developed. Services such as sign language interpreters are needed at vital public services and facilities particularly police departments, hospitals, law courts, and financial institutions. The certification of sign language interpreters will ensure that the maximum number of people with disabilities would benefit from such services. Assistive devices such as hearing aids would benefit individuals with some hearing loss to communicate through speech.

Deaf and social services

Deaf Development Program in Cambodia.

Government action on disability policy: A global survey, Part II - Government replies as country profiles: Cambodia.

Deaf culture

clochops. (2008, January 18). Deaf poi.video camera: This links to a videoDeaf kids in Cambodia playing with poi they've just made.

Deaf Visitors In Cambodia from Japan and the United States. Photographs and text.

Tales of Asia. (2001, November). Life on the streets. One day as I was sitting across the street from one particularly well-known Phnom Penh guesthouse, a group of street urchins arrived settling themselves down on the edge of a curb. More or less lead by a feisty deaf mute (wearing the red jacket) whose friends call "Srei Kor" - which means 'deaf mute woman' in Khmer language - these kids in whatever combination they appear are an on again off again presence around this central Phnom Penh guesthouse.

The Cambodian Deaf community.

Deaf education & youth

Deaf classes in Kompong Som Province.

Disability KaR. The importance of role models - the issue of disabled teachers. A prominent Cambodian NGO, Krousar Thmey (KT), which specialises in the education of deaf children and blind children, employs deaf teachers to teach deaf children in its schools, as these are not governed by Cambodian legislation. Deaf teachers are more likely to be fluent sign language users than teachers who are not deaf, and so are more able to communicate with deaf children this is an enormous advantage when teaching deaf children.

Krousar Thmey Deaf schools. There were no deaf schools at all in Cambodia until 1997 when Benôit Duchateau-Arminjon started the first primary school for deaf students, under the auspices of his NGO, Krousar Thmey (New Family), in Phnom Penh. Now he is building a second deaf school to open in November 2000 in Siem Reap and he is establishing three deaf classrooms in his school for blind children in Battambang.

Deaf history and current events

Japanese Federation of the Deaf. (2004, May). Asian Deaf Friendship Fund decides to support the Deaf in Cambodia.

Deaf painting and sculpture

(2007, October 3). Epic Arts. "So often, society disables people. I 'm trying to get the children to believe in themselves," says Katie MacCabe, one of the founders of Epic Arts Cambodia. Katie should know. She was brought up with a father who suffered from polio. She remembers, "Mentally he was very strong and growing up, i wanted to do something to bring integration between disabled, deaf and able-bodied people."

Epic Arts/Cambodia promotes integration of people of all abilities using the arts as a form of expression, empowerment, education and employment. This is vital in a country where an estimated 1 in 250 people have some form of disability.

MacCabe, K. (2006, January 23). Using the 'arts' in inclusion, Cambodia. Epic Arts, a UK-based trust, runs arts programmes for people of all abilities and disabilities. In 2003 Katie, the Co-ordinator of Epic Arts, moved to Cambodia - a country recovering from many years of civil war. Here she explains the importance of art and how it can promote inclusion.

Deaf performing arts

MacCabe, K. (2006, January 23). Using the 'arts' in inclusion, Cambodia. Epic Arts, a UK-based trust, runs arts programmes for people of all abilities and disabilities. In 2003 Katie, the Co-ordinator of Epic Arts, moved to Cambodia - a country recovering from many years of civil war. Here she explains the importance of art and how it can promote inclusion.

pellegrina8. (2008, September 29). Deaf Cambodian dancers at Deaf Day 2008, Phnom Penh.video camera: This links to a video

Religion & Deafness

Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Ministry with the Deaf, Cambodia.

Mission Notebook.

Sprague, S. (2006, December 5). Signs of the times in Cambodia. Maryknoll priest associate helps develop new deaf sign language for a people who once had none

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