eKitabu advance in All Children Reading Grand Challenge prize to improve literacy outcomes for deaf children

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development—a partnership of USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government—is pleased to announce three finalists of its Sign On For Literacy prize.

eKitabu, Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) and Manos Unidas will advance as finalists of the Sign On For Literacy prize, a global competition to source technology that increases access to local sign languages and advances language and literacy outcomes for deaf children in developing countries. The three finalists will receive additional funding and the opportunity to pilot and test their innovations in Kenya, the Philippines, and Nicaragua, respectively.

In June 2018, ACR GCD announced funding to five semi-finalists to refine their prototypes and later pitch before a panel of judges comprised of education and technology specialists in Washington, D.C. Based on those pitches, the three most promising innovators were chosen to advance to field testing. The innovative ideas selected are:

  • Studio KSL: eKitabu will receive $150,000 (in addition to $25,000 seed funding as semifinalists in 2018) to continue developing and implementing their Studio KSL platform, which documents Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) in a visual glossary and produces KSL videos for integration into accessible books.
  • World Around You: RIT/NTID will receive $150,000 (in addition to $25,000 seed funding as semifinalists in 2018) to pilot their World Around You platform in the Philippines. World Around You documents collects and shares a local sign and written languages through an open-content digital library of folktales offered in an interactive bilingual format.
  • Señas de Sentido (Signs of Meaning): Manos Unidas will receive $75,000 (in addition to $25,000 seed funding as semifinalists in 2018) to further develop their Señas de Sentido (Signs of Meaning) project, which will 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 about the Sign On For Literacy competition, visit AllChildrenReading.org.