United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

          Equal and inclusive education is a fundamental human right and is indispensable for the achievement of sustainable development. Globally, for the past few decades

          education at the early childhood level had focused on the provision of safe and playing spaces for children of working families. However, that approach is

          gradually fading as educators and stakeholders have realized that, education in the early years is extremely critical for the well being of all children, including their future learning outcomes.
         

          Yes some progress has been made,  however these efforts are not inclusive enough, especially for children with physical and intellectual learning disabilities, more especially those

          who are deaf and hard of hearing. For instance, various research reports like the 2020 UNSECO GEM Report, indicates that, only 41 countries globally, recognize their national sign languages,

          making it difficult for young children with speech, language and communication issues to have an alternative method of communication to flourish as their hearing counterparts.

      

         We have an urgent responsibility now, to maximize our advocacy efforts, inform, train and equip educators and families on ways to tackle inclusive communication in all their learning programs,

         while empowering them to take action, and contribute to this inclusive language and communication pedagogy.
 

        Through IIECEF, we would hold conversations with key stakeholders, policy-makers, leaders, experts and individuals who play critical roles in the early childhood education sector to promote,

        inspire, and inform participants to take action in recognizing their national sign languages as a second language of instruction in all K-12 programs, while showcasing upcoming,             

        existing resources and services families and educators can use to make impact in their classrooms and beyond, so that both deaf and hearing children can play, learn and thrive together.

        The forum would also help us gather feedback and data, on the challenges that may limit families and educators from implementing these solutions.

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS OUTLINE

             DAY 1(SESSION 1)- November 23,2020

 

THE HISTORY AND ART OF SIGN LANGUAGES

 

10:00AM -11:00AM EST

2:00PM -3:00PM GMT

 


 

Dr. Kara McBride

Dr. Kara McBride serves as a Senior Education and Research Specialist at World Learning,
where she provides wide-ranging support to teacher training, professional development and
youth education projects. She is the home office English Specialist and Technical Coordinator
for Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement-2 (QITABI-2) - a
USAID-funded program in Lebanon - providing technical support and international best
practices and research oversight on curriculum and incorporation of second language acquisition,
reading methodology, and inclusive education practices in teacher training, coaching, and
materials. In her tenure at Saint Louis University, Dr. McBride led teacher training for the
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and published extensively on the use of
technology in education and the development of intercultural competence. She holds a doctorate
in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree
in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University, and a master’s in Latin American Studies from Purdue University.

Dr. Jody Cripps

Dr. Jody H. Cripps is an Assistant Professor of American Sign Language in the Department of
Languages at Clemson University. Dr. Cripps obtained his doctorate in the Second Language
Acquisition and Teaching program from the University of Arizona. Dr. Cripps’ research interests
primarily focus on universal design, signed music, signed language pathology, ASL-English
literacy, and pedagogical methods. Dr. Cripps’ latest grant allows for conducting ground-
breaking ethnomusicological research in Canada on the creative process and production of a
signed music showcase titled, “THE BLACK DRUM”, performed by a signing musical theater
troupe, the sponsorship funded on the behalf of the Canadian Council of the Arts via Canadian
Cultural Society of the Deaf. This first of its kind musical incorporates Dr. Cripps’ signed music
theories and was selected as one of ten entries chosen from more than 100 countries featured in a
showcase at Clin d’Oeil Festival in Reims, France in July 2019. In addition to his teaching and
research, he also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Society for American Sign Language
Journal and the Vice President of The Gloss Institute, a non-profit organization providing

educators and parents the necessary tools and resources to overcome the habitually low (English)
literacy rates in deaf children.

 

             DAY 1(SESSION 2)- November 23,2020

THE  PROCESS OF LANGUAGE FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATION IN DEAF AND HEARING CHILDREN IN THE EARLY YEARS, AND HOW THIS CAN BE STRENGTHENED WITH SIGN LANGUAGES.

 

11:30AM -12:30PM EST

3:30PM -4:30PM GMT

 

 


 

Gabriel Luzu

Gabriel Luzu became deaf at the age of 8 due to malaria. He is a community develop mentalist by profession, he has been involved in the areas of child protection under the Ntchisi District social welfare department and have been involved in independent living movements and human care association.

 

He was once into the Teachers Training College pursuing Initial Primary Teacher Education but dropped due to his interest in lobbying and advocacy so he joined the Malawi National Association of the Deaf in 2014. First worked as the Assistant Project Officer to Information and Advocacy Officer.

 

He has been involved in a number of program, policies and projects which among others included involvement in the compilation of a shadow state party report by the Disability people’s organizations DPO which is under the Federation of Disability Organization in Malawi (FEDOMA).

Ivo Van Den Brand

Global Brand CSR Lead, Huawei

(STORY SIGN APP)

             DAY 2(SESSION 1)- November 24,2020

 

THE CRITICAL ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY AND PLAY FOCUSED APPROACHES IN SHAPING AND EXPANDING THE INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE ACQUISITION PEDAGOGY USING NATIONAL SIGN LANGUAGES.

 

10:00AM -11:00AM EST

2:00PM -3:00PM GMT

 


 

             DAY 2(SESSION 2)- November 24,2020

BUILDING THE CAPACITY OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECE) WORKFORCE TO INTRODUCE NATIONAL SIGN LANGUAGES IN THEIR PROGRAMS.(PROMOTING INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE ACQUISITION WITHIN AND BEYOND THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CLASSROOM)

 

11:30AM -12:30PM EST

3:30PM -4:30PM GMT

 

 


 

Allen Neece

Allen Neece was born Deaf and resides in Washington D.C. He is an international development consultant with over 20 years of experience working on issues pertaining to deaf education and capacity building. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, Zambia, and Guyana for four years. He was also a VSO Volunteer in Rwanda for two-years. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, he taught English to deaf secondary students and adult immigrants in Los Angeles. 

Thomas Sabella

Tom Sabella is the Inclusive Education and ECCE Partnership Coordinator at GCE-US and Light for the World and is dedicated to improving the education provided to children around the world. Tom researched teacher attitudes toward the inclusion of children with disabilities in rural schools of El Salvador for his PhD dissertation at the University of Maryland, and has also published research on USAID’s inclusive education policies and programs for GCE-US. He is a certified teacher who has instructed students and teachers in classrooms in the United States, Japan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Rwanda. Before coming to GCE-US, he coordinated a USAID funded EDC program to allow Rwandan youth who had dropped out of school to begin vocational studies in agriculture.  He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in both Guatemala and Rwanda. Tom recognizes the importance of providing quality inclusive education for children with disabilities, as well as the critical opportunity to begin education during children's early development, and he knows that only with cooperation from governments and organizations can we ensure that the human right to education is realized for all children.

             DAY 3(SESSION 1)- November 25,2020

 

PIVOTING TOWARDS INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOTH DEAF AND HEARING YOUNG LEARNERS WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DELAY ISSUES.

( UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 4)

 

10:00AM -11:00AM EST

2:00PM -3:00PM GMT

 


 

William C. Smith

William C. Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and
Academic Lead for the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF at the University of
Edinburgh. As part of his current post he coordinates the MSc in Education (Comparative
Education and International Development) pathway. Formerly, William worked as a Senior
Policy Analyst at UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and a Thomas J.
Alexander Fellow with the OECD. His recent research explores issues around quality and
inclusion in global learning metrics and SDG 4. This includes chapters in Grading Goal Four
(edited by Wulff, 2020), Testing and Inclusive Schooling (edited by Ydesen, Morin, and Hamre,
2018), and the 2 nd edition of Education and International Development (edited by McGowan

& Unterhalter, forthcoming).

             DAY 3(SESSION 2)- November 25,2020

PLEDGING TOWARDS INCLUSIVE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FOR DEAF CHILDREN BY 2030.( A CALL TO ACTION PLAN FOR GOVERNMENTS, CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS,POLICYMAKERS,EDUCATORS AND FAMILIES.

 

11:30AM -12:30PM EST

3:30PM -4:30PM GMT

 

 


 

Lily Kudzro

Lily Kudzro is a multiple award winning Social Entrepreneur, Early Childhood Education Activist and  Founder of Devio Early Childhood Institute in Ghana. She is passionate about inclusive education and is using her voice to promote national sign languages in all early years programs around the world,  so that deaf young children can access equal, quality and inclusive educational opportunities as their hearing counterparts.

©2020 Global sign Challenge.

Created and designed by Devio Early Childhood Institute.

Box 91 Darkuman, Accra-Ghana.