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Nicaraguan signers contribute their expertise to our third SIGNSPACE workshop

6 December, 2017

We would like to thank the 17 deaf participants who contributed to our third SIGNSPACE workshop last month in Managua, Nicaragua. They tested the portal that the iSLanDS Institute is developing with our project partner Dolphio Technologies, and talked about plans to increase the capacity of Nicaragua’s deaf community.

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The workshop took place at the Lost Inn Managua from 11-12 November and was run by local coordinator Ivonne Morales Ruiz, a primary school teacher in Managua who is also active in the Nicaraguan Deaf Association (ANSNIC). She was assisted by Marie Coppola, a linguistic psychology professor at the University of Connecticut. The participants came from Managua and the surrounding cities of Masaya, Jinotega, and Esteli.

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They tested four of the activities on the Moodle pages of the SIGNSPACE portal. Two of these introduce the concept of communication breakdowns, and the other two relate to numbers and fingerspelling in different sign languages.

Ms Morales Ruiz said: “I was delighted to be involved in this workshop about facilitating communication between signers from different deaf communities around the world, and the participants appreciated the value of being able to use the online tools to communicate with signers from other countries. Most of them have not travelled outside Nicaragua, and for many of them even the visit to Managua was unusual”.

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Professor Coppola commented: “This was a terrific opportunity for deaf people from different cities in Nicaragua, outside the area around Managua, to meet each other, share ideas, and learn from each other’s experiences. They all responded very enthusiastically, and were pleased to also have the chance to discuss community development and capacity building”.

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She added: “The staff at the Lost Inn Managua went out of their way to ensure the success of our event, and we also want to thank the international group of Nicaragua Sign Language researchers who assisted with the logistics and photo and video documentation”.

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