The Learning Center for the Deaf (LCD) has been established, in 2001 and registered in 2002, responding to a clear need in the Lebanese society, and realizing the dream of providing a crucial program for young deaf children and their families, which enables the deaf child to have a good start in life and a better future; the family based and comprehensive Early Intervention Program hoping to spread it all over Lebanon.
The LCD was initially established by Dr. Hussein Ismail and his wife Nadine, a teacher of the Deaf, later joined by a group of deaf persons and forming the first board of Directors of the LCD.
Hussein Ismail is deaf himself and grew up among the deaf community. Supported by his foster father, he finished school in Lebanon and in Holland with a BA degree in Education for the Deaf (1989), obtained his Master degree in Deaf education in the USA (1991) and concluded his Phd in Educational Administration in 2000. A path in Education which was not possible for him in Lebanon, without the Baccalaureate degree, which was not available for the Deaf in the specialized schools for the Deaf where most children were enrolled.
Determined to make a difference in the Lebanese society, Hussein and Nadine and despite the privilege of holding the Dutch nationality allowing them to continue their life in Holland, returned to Lebanon in 1999 where Hussein became a role model and mentor for many around him, having made possible what seemed impossible for many among his deaf peers. Therefore, he was asked to represent the deaf individuals in the National Council for People with Disabilities’ Affairs.
During the preparatory phase of the LCD programs, the Association of Parents for the Deaf, who saw in Hussein hope for the future of their children, asked the President of Lebanon to decorate Hussein with a “Medal of Deserve” in recognition of his achievement.
The decoration ceremony allowed Hussein to have encounter with deaf young people who didn’t believe they were able to enter University in means of ability and lacking the Baccalaureate diploma which is requested to enter University. This was the motive for Hussein to consider starting a High School Program, registered in the Ministry of Education (schools for the Deaf are registered in the Ministry of Interior as NGOs); a big challenge which he was ready to face in order to prove that many deaf persons have great capacities when given the opportunities.
Hussein and Nadine worked relentlessly for many years to develop a clear vision of what is needed by the Deaf, which has become the mission of the LCD. In application the LCD provides some direct services which sometimes are in partnership with other NGOs/stakeholders, and especially advocates for the Rights of the Deaf and helps empowering the Deaf assisting the Lebanese federation of the Deaf, its main advocacy partner.