September 20, 2022
September is Deaf Awareness Month, and All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is highlighting innovators who are developing solutions and tools to help ensure that children who are deaf and hard of hearing have access to books in the languages they use and understand.
Children who are deaf or hard of hearing in Nepal can now access 50 new, free storybooks in Nepali Sign Language across two online platforms.
The Asia Foundation collaborated with the National Federation of the Disabled (NDFN) and National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NADH) to adapt 50 storybooks into Nepali Sign Language (NSL) as part of the ACR GCD-funded Let’s Read Asia project under the Begin with Books competition.
NDFN, a national organization of the deaf community in Nepal, was initiated by eight local deaf associations in 1995. The organization advocates for those who are deaf through a wide range of activities, including advocating for deaf rights and policies, access to resources, and meaningful participation and representation as well as the promotion of sign language, training, and the development of teaching, learning materials specifically for deaf learners as well as evaluations (or assessments) that properly capture and assess learning of deaf students.
NADH is a non-governmental, action-oriented non-profit organization that works with deaf and hard of hearing people in Nepal. Founded in 1996, NADH advocates for policies, regulations and programs to improve the quality and coordination of services for the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing in rural and urban areas of Nepal.
The books are available on Global Digital Library and the Let’s Read digital library, both of which are free web-based platforms that make high-quality early learning resources available to children around the world.
Around the world, millions of children have few to no books in languages they use and understand, thereby impeding their access to quality education. For the more than 93 million children with disabilities, the shortage of books is even more severe, as resources, if available at all, often lack accessible formats.
Literacy is a cornerstone of development, placing children on a path for future success in school, employment, health and society–and research shows that children experience greater reading success when learning in their local spoken or signed language. Providing engaging and accessible books in national sign languages, like those being created by NDFN and NADH, are essential to empowering and supporting these children on their path to literacy.
All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government