Filipino is World Deaf Leadership program’s 1st doctorate holder | Inquirer Lifestyle
Raphael Vergel de Dios Domingo
Raphael Vergel de Dios Domingo poses before the Philippine flag at graduation.

Filipino is World Deaf Leadership program’s 1st doctorate holder

Raphael Vergel de Dios Domingo
Raphael Vergel de Dios Domingo poses before the Philippine flag at graduation.

The Office of International Affairs of Gallaudet University lauded Filipino deaf community leader Raphael Vergel de Dios Domingo for being the first doctorate degree recipient of the Nippon-Gallaudet World Deaf Leadership (WDL) Program.

Domingo earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics at Gallaudet University, a private federally chartered research university in Washington, D.C., dedicated for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing.

The WDL Program, funded by the Nippon Foundation of Tokyo, aims to empower selected individuals with the knowledge, skills and aspirations to contribute significantly to the deaf community and the nation.

As the head of Deaf Heritage and Filipino Sign Language Studies Unit of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Center for Education and Advancement of the Deaf, Domingo will pursue further research on Filipino Sign Language. They are a cofounder of Philippine Federation of the Deaf Inc., which continues to champion deaf education and human rights.

Domingo, who identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronoun “siya,” is equipped with a Certificate in Bookkeeping and a Bachelor in Applied Deaf Studies from Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. They likewise possess a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a Major in Comparative International Disability degree from American University, Washington, D.C.

The scholar wants deaf Filipinos to never let the linguistic barriers be a hindrance in pursuing graduate studies.

Domingo likewise reminds deaf students that many international students, whether hearing or deaf, struggle with academic writing. They encourage learners to request for support systems when needed and to always take advantage of the diverse opportunities available.