Of the estimated 32 million deaf children around the world, 80 percent do not have access to education, and only two percent receive education in sign language. This is particularly true in areas of the world with few resources, profoundly affecting children who already face tremendous barriers to economic and social advancement opportunities. Without early access to language, children fail to develop social and cognitive skills at the same rate as their peers, hindering their ability to learn to read and write and isolating them from society over the course of their lives.
The Sign On For Literacy global prize competition seeks technology-based innovations to increase sign language and literacy outcomes for deaf children in low resource settings. Innovations should provide greater access to local sign languages, early grade reading materials, and/or reading instruction by engaging families, schools, and communities. The competition is led by ACR GCD in collaboration with the World Federation of the Deaf, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, and Deaf Child Worldwide.