Improving sign language access and learning for deaf children in low-resource contexts

The Grand Challenge

Deaf children lack access to sign language and sign language-enabled learning

Of the estimated 32 million deaf children around the world, 80 percent do not have access to education, and only two percent receive education in sign language. This is particularly true in areas of the world with few resources, profoundly affecting deaf children who already face tremendous barriers to economic and social opportunities. Without early exposure to language, children who are deaf fail to develop social and cognitive skills at the same rate as their peers, hindering their ability to learn to read and write and isolating them from society.

The Big Idea

Creative solutions for accessing language and learning in local sign languages

The Sign On For Literacy prize competition sought innovations that increase sign language and literacy outcomes for deaf children in low-resource contexts. The prize awarded creative solutions for expanding access to local sign languages, sign language-enabled early grade reading materials, and reading instruction by engaging families, schools, and communities.