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Sign On For Literacy
  • Award: $500000 USD
  • Challenge closed

Challenge overview

Acquisition of a first language is essential for early childhood development and a building block for learning to read. Literacy is linked to all development goals contributing to psycho-social health, employment opportunities, economic growth, and breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Globally for children who are deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind (henceforth referred to as ‘Deaf’<sup>#</sup>), access to and education in a local sign language is often limited or absent. Without access to whole language with frequent and daily input to an accessible and natural language, the foundations of literacy, children are prevented from reaching their full potential. In developing countries and low-resource contexts, literacy outcomes for children who are Deaf are particularly substandard. As such, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is launching the Sign On For Literacy Prize, which seeks technology-based innovations to increase access to local sign languages and develop literacy interventions for children who are Deaf in low-resource contexts. Winning innovations must be novel, while utilizing technology to make a significant impact upon learning and literacy in the Deaf Community.

<sup>#</sup>‘Deaf’ is an inclusive umbrella term encompassing people with varying hearing levels, including people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.

 

Exposure to natural and accessible language at an early age is paramount for early childhood development and promotes cognitive and literacy development. The Sign On For Literacy Prize seeks technology-based innovations to increase access to sign languages and literacy interventions for children who are Deaf in low-resource contexts. These innovations will assist parents, educators, communities, and governments in enhancing early childhood development outcomes, improving access to local sign languages, and increasing literacy outcomes of children who are Deaf. For this prize, a technology-based innovation includes a broad range of information and communication technologies and video media. These can include: hardware, software, Internet and mobile applications among other technologies and platforms.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 16, 2018.  For further information about this Competition and to apply, please click here to be directed to its dedicated website.

About All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), established in 2011 as a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision and the Australian Government, is an ongoing series of competitions that leverages science and technology to source, test, and disseminate scalable solutions to improve literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. The global initiative focuses on sourcing, accelerating, and measuring the impact of technology-based innovations with the potential to transform the learning process and classroom experience at an individual, community, and national level. For the Sign On For Literacy Prize, ACR GCD is collaborating with the World Federation of the Deaf, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and Deaf Child Worldwide.