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Sign On For Literacy Finalists Announced

On February 5, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development announced eKitabu, Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) and Manos Unidas as the finalists in ACR GCD’s Sign On For Literacy prize competition. The competition is designed to support technology solutions that increase access to local sign languages and advance language and literacy outcomes for deaf children in developing countries.

The three finalists were selected from among more than 100 applications from innovators in 39 countries. From those applications, five semi-finalists were selected in June 2018 to refine their prototypes and present pitches to a panel of judges comprised of education and technology specialists. From that group, the judges chose three finalists to advance to field testing their innovations in Kenya, the Philippines and Nicaragua, respectively.

  • eKitabu, based in Nairobi, Kenya, will receive $150,000 (in addition to the $25,000 in seed funding they received as semifinalists in 2018) to continue developing and implementing their Studio KSL platform. The platform documents Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) in a visual glossary and produces KSL videos for integration into accessible books.
  • RIT/NTID, based in Rochester, New York, will receive an additional $150,000 to pilot their World Around You platform in the Philippines. This platform documents, collects and shares local sign and written languages through an open-content digital library of folktales offered in an interactive bilingual format.
  • The nonprofit Manos Unidas, based in Storrs Mansfield, Connecticut, will receive an additional $75,000 to further develop their Senas de Sentido (Signs of Meaning) project. The goal is to create a corpus of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), including videos and Spanish translations, a language-learning mobile app with downloadable lessons, and a literacy outreach program to train parents of deaf children.

To learn more, read this ACR GCD news release.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019