ML2: US-Russian Literacy for Deaf Children

ID: 3498
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2016


Early language exposure is crucial in both deaf and hearing children alike for vocabulary and literacy development. Hence, early exposure to sign language for deaf or hard of hearing children is imperative.

To help deaf and hard of hearing children, Eurasia Foundation's US-Russian Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) program facilitated a partnership between Austin, Texas-based Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) and Ya Tebya Slyshu (YTS; "I Hear You" in Russian) in St. Petersburg, Russia. YTS is a parent-run nonprofit that provides resources, support, and advocacy for deaf and hard of hearing children and their families. With funding from SEE, CSD and YTS are implementing the Russian-American Project for Children's Literacy (RAP4CL).

Using innovative software developed by Gallaudet University's Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2), the RAP4CL team is helping children by creating storybooks accessible in mobile apps that include video clips of signing and finger-spelling of vocabulary words, promoting language acquisition for deaf and hard of hearing children.

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