Improved Teaching and Learning Materials for the Deaf in Ghana

 Congratulations go out to Peace Corps Volunteer Casey Deutsch, the Peace Corps Recipient of the 2014 Ghana Best Teacher Award!  We asked Casey to tell us a little about the projects he is working on and this is what he said:

As the end of Pre-Service Training for the Peace Corps approached, I imagined myself fulfilling the duties of a volunteer teacher, sitting under a mango tree to escape the heat of the day, and relaxing as I enjoyed my two years of service at the Gbeogo School for the Deaf in the Upper East Region. Instead, what I found after my first few months at school were so many opportunities to improve the education of the deaf in Ghana that I rarely sat still.

My first major project was a complete sign language dictionary with over 1400 signs specific to Ghana. Over the course of five months, I worked with Caitlin McGuire, another volunteer at a school for the Deaf, to photograph, edit, and design the dictionary. Previously, no such tool existed for those studying Ghanaian sign language. The dictionary is already available online and we are working with Our Talking Hands on options for publishing. We would like to distribute the dictionary throughout the country, starting with the Schools for the Deaf.

The second national project is a collaboration between the Peace Corps and the Ministry of Education to adapt the existing ALERT Model (used to teach JHS students about HIV), to the Schools for the Deaf. The process is near complete as the final product will be launched during a national training for all of the schools for the deaf in early November.

Both of these projects, in addition to the work at my school, occupied my time for over six months. It was an incredible amount of work, but in the end, it paid off as I was named the 2014 Peace Corps’ recipient of the Best Teacher Award. The recognition validates all of the effort on these projects and reaffirms the love I have for working with the deaf in Ghana.

Once again, congratulations to Casey for this outstanding achievement!  We are looking for more great things to come, as Casey has assured us he has more ideas in the pipeline!

 

**For more about Casey Deutsch you can visit his blog at http://ocdpcv.blogspot.com**