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South-South collaboration in realising the impacts of Peer-to-Peer Deaf Multiliteracies research in India, Uganda, and Nepal: Our new project is launched

18 December, 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have won £84,223 in funding to increase the impact of our Deaf Multiliteracies work. The iSLanDS team are working with Uganda’s Makerere University and with several partner NGOs in India for this one-year impact project, which commenced on 1 November and is called ‘South-South collaboration in realising the impacts of Peer-to-Peer Deaf Multiliteracies research in India, Uganda, and Nepal’. Its aim is to increase capacity among deaf tutors and learners in the three target countries. This follows our £436,000 project with Lancaster University, which was entitled ‘Peer to Peer Deaf Multiliteracies: Research into a sustainable approach to the education of deaf children and young adults in the Global South’, and promoted deaf learners’ reading, writing, sign language, technology and multimodal communication.

P2P India Dec 2019

Deaf tutors from India and Uganda take part in a training session during the multi-level capacity building programme being held in December 2019 in India

This new work will create a range of materials, including curricula, teachers’ handbook materials, teaching/learning materials, and best practice examples. The purpose of these materials is to underpin newly-arising roles for deaf professionals for use in each partner country. This effort will also involve engagement with the National Institute of Open Schooling in India, and Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Centre.

The project’s PI, Ulrike Zeshan, explained: “This work originally started with our pilot five years ago which examined innovative ways to teach literacy to deaf learners. Since then, our research has shown that new ecosystems of learning can be developed and adapted for use with different groups of deaf children and youth in the Global South. With this project, we go a step further towards introducing key elements from this prior research into concrete educational contexts in India and Uganda. We are also securing the sustainability of our innovative teaching model by building a qualification route for the language and literacy trainers who work with deaf learners in developing countries. It is very exciting that our bespoke learner-directed literacy teaching methods, involving peer-to-peer teaching by local deaf tutors, will be equipping more students with the skills in multiliteracies that will help them realise their potential in both education and the workplace.”

Sibaji Panda, the project’s consultant in India based at the Happy Hands School for the Deaf, added: “It is important to recognise the shift in this project from ‘deaf-led research’ to ‘deaf-led practice’ in deaf education. We are making this shift by following a common impact pathway for India and Uganda, and potentially also Nepal, at the end of which training options, human resources, and bilingual teaching/learning materials are developed to a point where a further roll-out of innovative ecosystems of learning for deaf sign language users becomes possible.”

Like the previous work, this one-year impact project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID), through their joint scheme Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems. The project’s first phase has started with a multi-level capacity building programme with deaf participants from Ugandan and India.

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