Institute for Disabilities Research and Training & École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Rabat

Wheaton, Maryland, USA   |   For profit

Children in classroom being show computer at IDRT project

Project Name
Moroccan Sign Language Assistive Technology for Reading Improvement of Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Location Implemented
Morocco

Organization Website
http://www.idrt.com

Organization Type
For profit



Challenge
Education of children who are deaf/hard of hearing in Morocco is very dire. Approximately 85% do not attend school, and many girls are kept at home. Most teachers who work with this population do not have any training in special education, and there is a dearth of sign language interpreters to assist them with translation for sign language-dependent students in the classrooms. Literacy rates among populations that are deaf/hard of hearing are very low.

Solution
This innovation is building an assistive technology, MSL Clip and Create, that enables users to access a dictionary containing Moroccan Sign Language graphics, video clips, and supporting concept graphics to easily create and publish MSL-supported educational materials for students who are deaf/hard of hearing. The dictionary, previously developed by the team, contains 3,000 Moroccan Sign Language graphics and video clips representing 5,500 words in Modern Standard Arabic with supporting concept graphics. This software will revolutionize the way teachers create MSL instructional materials, thus increasing the amount, type, and quality of such materials. MSL instructional materials will foster comprehension of Arabic text, including idioms and STEM terminology/symbols, for purposes of literacy improvement, curriculum enhancement, and communication. Teachers and parents will also be trained on the use of the assistive technology and strategies for its implementation in the teaching of reading to children who are deaf/hard of hearing. Efficacy research will address the impact on teachers’ ability to create MSL-supported instruction materials and on their students’ reading achievement.

Project Reach
Eight schools for the deaf/hard of hearing, 60 students, 40 teachers 20 parents and other key national stakeholders with the potential for national and international expansion

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