Current, former Gallaudet consultants participate in Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach work trip in Vietnam
Rowena Winiarczyk, a research associate with the Gallaudet Research Institute (GRI), distributes Gallaudet informational material to eager students from one of a very few secondary level classrooms for deaf youth, located at the National College of Education in Hanoi, Vietnam, at the conclusion of the first day of a two-week Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach (IDEO) working trip.
Many of the students in the class expressed interest in learning more about Gallaudet, and they may have another opportunity in June when a Gallaudet World Deaf Leadership (WDL) study tour visits Vietnam.
The goal of the IDEO program is to establish high quality early education for deaf infants and toddlers in Vietnam through partnerships between schools, families, and local deaf people. January 4, the opening day of the planning visit, also included a joint consultation with deaf leaders, professors of education, government officials, staff from the global relief and development agency World Concern that is running IDEO, and former or current Gallaudet faculty or staff who are serving as consultants for the three-year program, which is funded by the World Bank--Winiarczyk; Dr. Lynne Erting, former and now retired assistant principal of KDES; Dr. Audrey Cooper, an adjunct professor in Gallaudet's International Development Program; and Dr. Charles Reilly, a senior research scientist with the GRI.
The teacher of the students pictured is a deaf Vietnamese man who graduated from a higher education program established with the support of the Nippon Foundation by Dr. James Woodward, a renowned sign language linguist and former Gallaudet faculty member who has made great strides in advancing deaf people's leadership in sign language research and education in developing nations, and Nguyen Thi Hoa, a leading Vietnamese deaf educator.
Many of the school's graduates will play leading roles in IDEO as advisors on early childhood education, as sign language teachers, and as mobilizers in the local deaf communities by getting involved with families with young deaf children. IDEO's design was inspired by "Outside the Dream," a 2003-06 project in Thailand to train local deaf people as family mentors; that project was initiated under the WDL program and later funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Charles Reilly