Almost 50 deaf children in first grade received sign language-based education in the 2015-2016 school year through a pilot scheme under the Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach Project (IDEO) administered by the World Bank.
IDEO adopted the innovative model of family-support teams, including a mentor, a sign language interpreter and a hearing teacher, to teach sign language to deaf children and their families in their own homes, according to a press release issued by the World Bank on Friday.
In the past five years, the project provided home-based sign language lessons for 255 deaf children under six years old in Hanoi, Thai Nguyen, Quang Binh, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Initial project evaluations show that using sign language has helped improve deaf children’s language and cognitive development, as well as their communications ability.
The project also trained more than 50 deaf adults to become mentors to deaf children. It also helped train about 200 hearing teachers in the use of sign language, so that they could support deaf children more effectively. More than 50 hearing people were trained as communication facilitators or sign-language interpreters.
“Most of deaf children in Vietnam do not have access to early childhood education and their parents lack professional support,” says Achim Fock, the World Bank’s Acting Country Director for Vietnam. “The positive results of IDEO affirm the support of their learning in schools with trained hearing and deaf teachers and sign language interpreters is essential for the deaf children to develop to their full potential.”
The project is funded by the Japanese Social Development Fund, administered by the World Bank, and implemented by World Concern Development Organization. It has a budget of US$2.8 million, with an additional $130,000 from the Vietnamese government.