Impact Story: Centro de Educación Continuada para Adolescentes con Discapacidad Auditiva (CECADA), Guatemala
Centro de Educación Continuada para Adolescentes con Discapacidad Auditiva (CECADA) was founded in 1994 in Guatemala. Initially, the center provided training for adults - what started as workshops for the deaf evolved into formal primary education programs. Over time, the focus shifted towards a more holistic approach to education, involving not only occupational training but also engaging students and their families with hearing disabilities.
Since 2019, the center has promoted school inclusion, welcoming hearing students with deaf classmates. In response to growing demand, CECADA created a sign language academy, endorsed by the Ministry of Education. Their one-year courses provide certification, addressing inclusive needs in the population. To support adolescents and adults at CECADA, a social program was established, connecting students with inclusive workplaces for practical experience. Currently, nine companies employ deaf students, facilitating their integration into social life.
The center employs the Total Communication method, incorporating lip reading, facial expressions, spelling, and sign language. Artistic expression is strongly encouraged at CECADA, with students participating in dance activities and earning national and international awards.
Opportunity International EduFinance offers a three-year holistic program to non-state affordable schools called EduQuality. CECADA learned about the EduQuality program through its association with the Committee for the Blind and Deaf of Guatemala's education department.
Sandra Salguero, the school director, participated in EduQuality’s School Leadership Professional Development (SLPD) sessions, which aim to benefit school leaders’ management techniques. In her role as CECADA's director, the SLPD sessions have positively impacted Sandra’s leadership by increasing her awareness about the challenges faced as a youngleader. Sandra felt encouraged to be a more active listener and considerate of others.
The program has allowed me to have more openness to grow in my leadership” - Ms. Sandra Salguero
The school’s director prioritized the need to systematize and structure various undocumented activities. Under the guidance of Education Specialists, they aimed to establish a framework for processes and provide legal guidance to train the team in areas related to inclusive education. The goal was to ensure that all support processes for students with hearing impairments were legally covered to deliver excellent education.
As the school has recently become a part of the EduQuality program, its engagement with the Teacher Mentor Professional Development (TMPD) sessions is ongoing. These sessions, facilitated by EduQuality, are designed to enhance teachers' skills through a "training-of-trainers" approach. Teacher-mentors are chosen from the school's own staff, and they assist their colleagues by conducting classroom observations and providing feedback.
Ms. Sandra explained that daily progress in the classrooms reflects the teachers' motivation and dedication to implementing EduQuality's processes and strategies. They are highly committed as teacher- mentors and eager to learn, and this commitment will greatly benefit the institution. The primary focus, on both sides of this collaboration, is on these children, aiming to transform their often- challenging futures.
We always seek to strengthen our quality of service and provide a quality education for children with hearing disabilities, it is for them that we make these improvements and that we not only see it as a job” - Ms. Sandra Salguero
CECADA’s dedication to the EduQuality program from the start reflects its commitment to providing high-quality education. This institution's growth in Guatemala is driven by its effective management and unwavering pursuit of excellence. The school actively maintains its facilities and trusts the EduQuality program to help encourage and enhance the quality of education provided at CECADA.
The school is also dedicated to promoting girls' learning through its entrepreneurship initiatives, which motivate and engage girls in developing their skills and knowledge within their local communities. An example of the impact is evident in a female graduate who established her own pastry shop. She is also invited to participate in the school’s activities, serving as an inspiring example of the progress she has accomplished.