Deaf Reach: 2021 in Retrospect

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When the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in 2020, Deaf Reach had to adapt rapidly and innovate to ensure continuity and safeguard our decades of hard work building education for deaf children and youths in Pakistan. The year was spent learning and developing distance learning. Navigating the pandemic and working to ensure the best possible outcomes for our staff and students at Deaf Reach Schools, as well as the beneficiaries of the Eduserve Program, proved to be very challenging.

The Eduserve team had to shift from their model of hands-on training sessions in the heart of communities and educational institutes to hosting their programs online. They successfully made the transition, and were able to impact thousands of participants and community members. In addition, they conducted an online symposium for university students and faculty that focused on diversity, tolerance and peacebuilding.

The biggest challenge we faced during the closures of our Deaf Reach Schools was how to care for our deaf students’ education and prevent erosion of their language skills. With generous support from key donors, we set up an in-house studio and the Deaf Reach team began the process of digitizing a large repository of curricular resources in Pakistan Sign Language (PSL). Our students were supplied with refurbished low-cost laptops, and we delivered the digital content monthly during the entire lockdown period. Thus, this time of adversity has birthed a new and innovative program that has set the tone for the future of Deaf Education in Pakistan.

For more information, read our Annual Report 2020 – 2021

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