Improving education for deaf and hard of hearing children

DDIA, Ethiopia

2016-2020, with the support of Comic Relief

The Deaf Development and Information Association (DDIA) is a deaf-led national NGO that aims to improve the lives of young deaf people through skills and enterprise training and support. DDP has worked with DDIA on three livelihood initiatives since 2014.

The aim of this project was to create a demonstration model that could transform the educational experience of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. We worked in 8 primary schools (in Addis Ababa, Mekele, Adama, Bahir Dar and Hawassa), creating a living model of inclusion.

The project’s main innovation was the placement of a deaf teaching assistant in each school, equipped with appropriate educational materials, sign language dictionaries and DVDs of the Grades 1 to 4 curriculum translated and explained in sign language.

Sign language was also taught to teachers, parents, siblings and peers, revolutionizing communication for many relationships, and enabling deaf and hard-of-hearing children to attend and enjoy school. We hope that this project will contribute to changing education policy, to ensure that deaf and HoH children are not left behind.

Project film

Improving Education for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children in Ethiopia. Film by Doug Fellows and Sophie Abramovici.

Read more…

  • Video: When I Grow Up… Children involved in the project share their plans for the future
  • Video: National Anthem. Children from project schools perform the Ethiopian national anthem in sign language
  • Overview of the project model (pdf)
  • Success Stories: booklet of collected case studies, 2016-2020 (pdf)
  • Report of the end-of-project conference held in Addis Ababa,18 February 2020 (pdf)