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Dec 11, 2017

Final report. Thank you for your help!

deaf children using videobooks at school
deaf children using videobooks at school

Videobooks in Sign Language for deaf children was born 6 years ago as a result of a literature promotion program. The first 15 videobooks were created without any knowledge about what the final product would look like and without any previous experience in the elaboration of this type of material. It was a huge effort from a large team of hearing and deaf people, committed to improve the education and well-being of deaf children in Argentina.

Over the years, and with the help of people that shared our goals, Videobooks has become a reference of literature for deaf children in Argentina and beyond. During these years the program has also given birth to different projects to promote reading and literature. National Contests of Storytelling in Sign Language, Elderly deaf adults telling stories to little deaf children, Storytelling festivals, a new website with storytelling, a new design of the Videobooks site, the presentation of Videobooks in national and international fairs, the recognition of UNICEF as referents for the elaboration of accessible materials for deaf children, and our latest accomplishment: the internationalization of the project. Today, Videobooks has 60 storybooks in three differente Sign Languages and it is willing to include sign languages of more countries and more books. We are very thankful to all the people that believed in us and that collaborated with the project so that it could be fulfilled.

Although Videobooks will continue growing, today we are starting a new project that will give deaf children the opportunity to have a textbook to learn to read and write in Spanish. We invite you to discover our new proposal at:  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/give-deaf-children-in-argentina-a-textbook/

Join us! Let’s promote literacy!

Deaf children Olivia and Mateo ready to read
Deaf children Olivia and Mateo ready to read
Elderly deaf woman telling a story
Elderly deaf woman telling a story
Hearing mother with deaf child enjoying videobooks
Hearing mother with deaf child enjoying videobooks
Dec 1, 2017

National Storytelling Contest in Sign Language

Diplomas for three deaf brother and sisters
Diplomas for three deaf brother and sisters

Continuing with our mission of promoting reading and access to literature for deaf children we organized the Third National Storytelling Contest in Argentine Sign Language. We encourage through this contest that deaf children and young people approach literature, investigate different authors, create their own stories and expose them to other people, illustrate and become artists. Likewise, we aspire to promote potential participants in their full development in a framework of respect for their linguistic and cultural identity.

The competition was targeted to deaf people from all jurisdictions in the country for them to prepare unpublished or known stories, organized in five age groups categories.

Deaf children and adults presented 154 stories video recorded in Sign Language, that were sent to Canales to be evaluated by a jury composed of three deaf people and three LSA interpreters. The jury selected two stories per category (first and second prizes) that will be edited with drawings and voiceovers in a video that will serve as educational material for schools across the country. The stories will be uploaded to an Internet platform - www.cuentoslsa.org.ar  - with free and open access.

The award ceremony was held at the National Congress and was attended by more than 250 deaf children and adults from all over Argentina. Directors and teachers of deaf schools, the Vice minister of education, politicians from The Ministry of culture and representatives of UNICEF were also present at the ceremony.

 Fort the first prize, the contestants received a notebook and the second prize obtained a tablet. Fifteen participants received also a special recognition.

 Both the Contest and the elaboration of the video of stories try to revert the exclusion of cultural promotion programs to which this community is subjected, through a space of participation open to children, adolescents and the deaf community at large.

 We are sharing with you some of the pictures that show the enthusiasm of deaf children at the ceremony. Enjoy!

Aplauses for the winner!
Aplauses for the winner!
The youngest winner receives her tablet
The youngest winner receives her tablet
Deaf participants from the Magnasco school
Deaf participants from the Magnasco school
Intergenerational interactions
Intergenerational interactions
Three sign language interpreters at work
Three sign language interpreters at work
Sep 8, 2017

A renewed site for Videobooks in Sign Language

Welcome to VIDEOBOOKS' new site
Welcome to VIDEOBOOKS' new site

Videolibros.org is being renewed so that more and more deaf children can access children’s stories.

 

Come and visit us!

In this new stage, Videobooks seeks to welcome children and youngsters from more countries by including books read in different Sign Languages more titles in Argentine Sign Language and above all, a more personalized experience. These three goals have been achieved by a change of image and the design of a new platform that has been elaborated by the team of deaf and hearing working together in Canales Asociación Civil.

The new webpage is much easier to use and it lets users participate by rating the stories. It includes the possibility for users to select a book through categories in order for readers to concentrate on the topic they prefer, and it also offers some activities that are recommended for children after reading. Access is totally free and open to those registered at www.videolibros.org.

Registered users now can collaborate with the platform as their tastes, opinions and the way they make use of the Videobooks will influence the expansion of the project, which means that they are somehow participating in the future design of this videolibrary. They can also easily share the stories on social networks and invite others to participate.

In addition, other Sign Languages have joined the library: 10 books in LSPy (Paraguayan Sign Language) and 4 in LSU (Uruguayan Sign Language) as well as 10 new books in LSA. In this way, deaf children of Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina will be able to access literature, compare the different sign languages and share the stories with hearing people, since the Videobooks have voice-over in Spanish.

 The Videobooks’ project was declared to be of cultural interest by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires (Article 12 - Annex of Decree No. 886/07), acquiring a new impulse that it also made possible to carry out an impact evaluation of the sign language stories in the educational environment, and a communication campaign in Argentina.

 To develop and produce the Videobooks in LSPy, the Videobooks creators worked together with a team of deaf people and interpreters of LSPY- Spanish, well versed in the language and the deaf culture in that country.

 In the case of Uruguay, the Canales team also joined a team of deaf and hearing people from that country, who participated in a multi-day training workshop on how to develop accessible materials.  

Videobooks plans to continue incorporating books into its videolibrary to fulfill the right of deaf children to access literature in an accessible language.

Why is this project important?

  • For the majority of deaf children, no one tells them stories in an accessible language, as the hearing people around them (relatives and teachers) do not know sign language.
  • More than 90% of deaf children have hearing parents who do not know the sign language of their country; this is the main barrier to the natural development of their children's language.
  • Early acquisition of sign language favors the learning of a second language (the language of the surrounding area, in this case Spanish) and access to written language.
  • The main obstacle to the development of abstract thinking is the lack of a natural language in the first years of life.
  • If deaf children do not develop a language, they are excluded from access to information.
  • Deaf children need to be in touch with deaf adults to develop their identity and feel respected.
  • If deaf children access reading in their natural language, with the help of adults or other children, they will have better opportunities to be readers and greater access to information.
  • Sign languages are not universal: each country has its own. In addition, sign languages are unwritten, which means that for a deaf person, learning to read and write implies doing it in another language.
  • If deaf and hearing people share the same literature, it strengthens the bridges of mutual knowledge and respect for each others’ cultures.

 

What si Videobooks?

www.videolibros.org is a free and open Internet site where deaf children find books read by deaf people in sign language, their natural language. In this way, children are not excluded from access to literature and from the pleasure of reading. The videobooks have voice-over in Spanish so that we can all share the same readings.

 

Important figures: 

o   In Argentina there are approximately 950,000 deaf people of whom
95,000 are under 20 years old (2010 Census).

o   In Uruguay there are 25,771 deaf people (according to the 2011 INE Census.)

o   Paraguay’s Deaf Center estimates that there are between 30,000 and 70,000 deaf people in the country. The country does not keep official numbers on this.

How the new site looks like when choosing a book
How the new site looks like when choosing a book
Launching Videobooks in Paraguayan Sign Language
Launching Videobooks in Paraguayan Sign Language
Videobooks in Uruguayan Sign Language
Videobooks in Uruguayan Sign Language
The same book in three different Sign Languages
The same book in three different Sign Languages
Our latest release. 10 year old deaf reader Mateo
Our latest release. 10 year old deaf reader Mateo

Links:

 
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