In February, eKitabu team members participated in the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conference in Washington, D.C., together with colleagues from Royal Kentalis Foundation and Deaf Child Worldwide. The CIES 2023 theme was “improving education for a more equitable world.”
eKitabu participated in 3 sessions focusing on improving foundational literacy skills for deaf learners with deaf and hearing teachers in early childhood development settings; building communication and language skills through accessible early-grade reading materials in local sign languages of Africa; and continuous professional development for teachers focusing on inclusive education. Colleagues and friends shared these reactions:
“CIES gave me more confidence in continuing the groundbreaking work we are doing to learn and build evidence of impact in deaf bilingual education in local sign languages. CIES provides an opportunity to share evidence-based results with different stakeholders and connect through conversations and shared research interests in difficult learning and measurement challenges.” Georgine Auma, Director, Studio KSL at eKitabu.
“Kentalis International Foundation was delighted to see that at CIES 2023 inclusion played an increasing role in international education programming. Kentalis presented its evidence-based observation tool for sign language development in young children. Kentalis and eKitabu adapted the tool to assess language acquisition in Kenyan schools where deaf and hard of hearing children are utilizing eKitabu’s Digital Story Time storybooks.” Maria Brons (Ph.D.), Program Manager, Kentalis International Foundation.
“CIES is a great opportunity to connect with people who are passionate about making education opportunities accessible to more and more learners around the world. The conversations that followed some of the presentations were challenging—they force us to think critically about our little part in education. CIES sparked new conversations that will continue throughout the year!" Anna Martin, Inclusive Education Specialist, eKitabu.We were glad to have been part of this year's CIES conference, to engage in thoughtful and thorough preparation, to share our learning, our questions and to connect.