Forum to promote sign language in early years slated for November 23-25


Devio Early Childhood Institute, a non-profit organization that offers capacity building training programs and workshops for teachers in the early years, is bringing together world leaders and experts in the international inclusive education community for its annual forum with various presentations on promoting national Sign Languages in the early years from November 23-25, 2020 virtually.

The institute which is advocating for the use of national sign languages in all early years’ programs worldwide is hosting this event to educate, inform and share resources with participants to help promote action towards inclusive language opportunities for both deaf and hard of hearing children, especially in the early years where their speech and language skills are nurtured.

Speaking ahead of the programme, Lily Kudzro, Founder and Executive Director at Devio Early Childhood Institute, said time is now for action to be taken to help children with disabilities fit into every community and it begins by helping them communicate with others.

“We need to collectively take action towards making the world a better place for all children, and ensuring that no child is left behind by first promoting inclusive language opportunities for both deaf and hearing children, because the foundation of learning depends hugely on effective communication and comprehension. We are therefore hoping that by 2030, at least 20 countries including Ghana, would have made great progress in the implementation of sign languages in their early years learning frameworks,” she said.

The early childhood education sector in Ghana, and in other parts of the world is deficient in investment from government and stakeholders. Also, the sector faces a huge gap of qualified teachers, including inclusive opportunities for all children to thrive, develop their potentials and have their voices heard.

For most children living with physical and intellectual disabilities, the future is not promising. That is why, madam Kudzro says, stakeholders in the educational sector must wake up to this call of ensuring that both deaf and hearing children around the world are offered equal participation and success in education.

Even though the sustainable development goal 4 promotes inclusive, equitable and quality educational opportunities for all children, only 46 countries worldwide recognize their national sign languages, according to the 2020 UNESCO Gem Report; and only about 2 percent of these countries offer sign languages in their national curriculum.

Speakers of the forum include Dr Kara Mcbride, Senior Education and Research Specialist at World Learning; Dr Jody Cripps, Assistant Professor of American Sign Language in Department of Languages at Clemson University, and Allen Neece, International development Consultant

Others include Gabriel Luzu, Malawi National Deaf Association; Ivo Van den Brand, Huawei CBG Global Brand CSR Lead (Huawei Storysign App); Thomas Sabella, Inclusive Education and ECCE Partnership Coordinator at GCE-US and Light
for the World; and William C. Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and Academic Lead for the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF at the University of Edinburgh.

Interested participants should visit or

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