I want to tell you how we got here. The story begins with the creation of Videobooks and continues with the “Classic tales” collection, which included the participation of elderly deaf women. At that time, these women were the ones introducing and closing each classic tale.
This time, we decided to go a step further: grandmothers themselves are the ones telling the stories. For this to become a reality, we had to overcome several obstacles: first, grandmothers do not know the stories because nobody read for them when they were small; secondly, they themselves had never read a story to a child. On the other hand, some grandparents who wanted to participate were quite elderly and we had to be careful not to expose them to long distances and extended times.
The program we are developing now derives from Videobooks and consists of 3 stages: in the first, deaf grandparents were trained by one of the deaf videobooks project coordinators. They chose the stories, discussed and practiced narrative signing. At the second stage grandparents visited schools for the deaf and told the stories to little deaf children from 5 schools for the deaf in Buenos Aires city and around.
Since most deaf children had never had contact with elder deaf people, the experience became a high-impact one. “Step” grandmothers and one grandfather interacted with young deaf children, showing that despite their age, their knowledge represents a great value for the kids.
It was very moving to "listen" to an 85 year old grandmother say with her hands: this project showed me that I can be useful. I was at home doing nothing and now feel I have a lot to offer.
The third and final part of the project is about to start: we are going to select six of the stories in order to video record and upload them to a blog of free access to all deaf boys and girls!
WE NEED YOUR HELP to give more grandparents the opportunity to spread their stories in sign language to deaf children.
Deaf coordinator explaining
Selecting the stories
Alicia tells a story
Celita interacts with a little deaf child
everyone wants to participate
deaf grandparents play
Fernando also plays