Kenya Christian School For The Deaf
Kenya Christian School for the Deaf is a non-profit organization that propagates socio-economic, education, advocacy, talent development acquisition of hearing impaired children, vulnerable girls and women as a way of eliminating stigma and discrimination.
EDUCATE ALL & PROTECT DEAF GIRLS
Deaf girls and women are the most vulnerable population due to language deprivation and high rate of illiteracy that impedes their accessibility to information and support. Deaf Girls & Women face a lots challenges from personal health risk, dependence, low self-esteem, and illiteracy. KCSD empowers deaf girls and women and disseminates development information through our resource centres, chief comps and schools in form of posters, social medias and sign language in order to reach them out.
Adult & Continuining Education
KCSD provides adult education for women and girls with no read no write to enable them read, write, communicate and to manage their personal affairs confidentially. Communication breakdown is affecting many deaf women and girls making them vulnerable and easy prey for illicit sexual predator. High illiteracy leads to deaf adolescence pregnancies, increased exposure to gender-based violence and sexually transmitted infections are added to the fact that they are left aside when deciding on vital health issues. It is important that their "voice" are heard, that deaf women and girls can propose and agree on the topics that concern their health and their decisions, in order to build up their own tools of empowerment.
- BACKED BY SCIENCE -
Did you know, deaf children who receive at least some form of home learning and brain stimulation are far more likely to lead a happy, fulfilled and successful life? Nearly 80% of our brains are developed before age of 2-7 years, and parents world over are already capitalizing on this by taking early action with their babies.
Give your baby the right head start: without any screen time, or performance pressure.
Give your child a chance
For many deaf children, language acquisition is delayed until the time that they are exposed to sign language or until they begin using amplification devices such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Deaf children who experience delayed language acquisition, sometimes called language deprivation, are at risk for lower language and cognitive outcomes.
Studies have shown that early exposure to visual language changes visual processing and heightens skills in joint attention. Children with early exposure to sign language frequently shift their eye gaze, which leads to early vocabulary development.
Kenya Christian School For The Deaf is poised to become a model of belonging and inclusiveness for the world. The cost of missing the foundational language opportunities from birth is astronomical, especially for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind children. It creates an uneven playing field from the beginning, limiting options for communication that has lifetime educational and economic consequences. Visual language and visual learning will change the world by greatly reducing the disconnection and lack of language exposure a monolingual society places on all of its children and on millions of deaf and hard of hearing children. All Kenyans, from the babies born deaf to the grandparents becoming hard of hearing, would still be able to communicate with their loved ones. Sign language for all babies would also provide a much-needed boost to our education system, helping to remedy many inter-related social inequities for all children, and especially deaf and hard of hearing people. At Kenya Christian School For The Deaf we have advanced Interactive assistive technology device, including mobile app that aids deaf infants to interact and exposes them to sign language.
Empowering marginalized girls through quality education and leadership skills
KCSD ensures quality elementary education for children, especially girls and those from marginalized communities, to help them become the leaders and change makers of the future. We see education as an imperative tool for girls to realize their maximum potential by gaining crucial skills and dispositions that set them on the path of social and economic empowerment.
Our programmes and projects work through building learning ecosystems that are inclusive, gender conscious, and safe for all.
Puzzle signed game board
KCSD learning materials
KCSD board game
REARLY EXPOSURE TO SIGN LANGUAGE: AN ADVANTAGE TO PARENTS AND CHILDREN
Introduction - the importance of language
The development of language is essential for the cognitive and social development of all children, including, of course, those children who are deaf. Expressive language ability in any modality plays a major role in the development of spoken language (Yoshinaga-Itano, in press). However, the ways in which language, cognitive and other aspects of development can best be stimulated and enhanced, and which language or languages should be learnt, are topics for on-going debate in the field of education of deaf children.
Some educators and other professionals who work with deaf children believe that the simultaneous acquisition of a signed and spoken language is confusing for an infant. Others in the field hold the view that not only is simultaneous language acquisition not confusing, the process of learning two languages at the same time is beneficial for the process of acquiring both.
This paper sets out to review research on language acquisition with particular focus on simultaneous acquisition of signed and spoken languages. The aim is to highlight the benefits of early exposure to sign language and the important role that sign language can play in the acquisition of English.
Language acquisition versus language learning
Infants are born with the potential to learn any human language. Which language or languages they actually learn depends on which languages they have access to (Woll, 1998). The first six months of life represents a particularly sensitive period in early language development, as the child progresses from babbling to syllabic combinations. In subsequent months, the parents and other caregivers begin to perceive the child's utterances as intentional and respond to them, which sets the groundwork for interaction and further language development.
Acquisition in the circumstances described above, happens without conscious effort on the part of the learner; learning requires study (Fischer, 1998, original emphasis). Children are very adept at language acquisition; adults who have acquired a first language then usually become very good at learning other languages. The opposite, however, is not always true. Fischer (1998) believes that young deaf children have often been forced to learn when they might more easily acquire. This situation comes about due to a choice having been made between which type of communication to use: signed or spoken.
I suggest that a choice does not need to be made, children can (and should, I believe) be exposed to both signed and spoken languages from the time a hearing loss is discovered. Petitto and Holowka (2002) believe that we are in fact "compelled" to provide young children with the earliest possible bilingual language exposure, not only because of the multi-linguistic and multi-cultural world in which we now live, but also because research shows that the critical window for language learning (traditionally identified as being from birth to five years of age) is the most optimal period to do so, whether the languages concerned are two spoken ones or a spoken and signed language.
Evidence in support of early exposure to sign language
Research has indicated that "manual babbling" can be observed in infants exposed to sign languages (Woll, 1998). Petitto and Marentette (1991) found that parents who used sign language with their children responded to this manual babbling as if it were intentional communication from the baby. "Manual babbling thus provides a motivation for both infant and parent to engage in conversation in the same way as vocal babbling does" (Petitto & Marentette, cited in Woll, 1998).
The language milestones observed in children acquiring a spoken language have also been observed in monolingual deaf babies acquiring signed languages (Petitto & Holowka, 2002). Woll (1998) reports that while these milestones in British Sign Language (BSL) have been based on research with children of deaf parents who were exposed to BSL from infancy, preliminary research evidence from deaf children in hearing families who have had access to fluent signers from any early age (via language role models in bilingual education programs) indicate that the development of their BSL skills appears to be identical to that of deaf children of deaf parents.