Gallaudet University administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni were well-represented at three major gatherings in South Korea this past month: the CODA International conference, the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters conference, and the XIX World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, which began Tuesday and ends tomorrow evening. President Cordano has been at WFD.

In addition to its presence at international conferences, the university has entered into agreements with entities in three countries: India, Nigeria, and Australia. All three agreements bring the resources of the university to these countries for the benefit of their deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing communities. 

On June 22, the university entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EnAble India, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that believes “that work is core to human dignity, and comprises pioneers and thought leaders in the disability sector impacting livelihoods across 19 disabilities.” In this MOU, Gallaudet and EnAble India listed their shared values and outlined activities and programs, including the establishment of an innovative, state-of-the-art “College Preparatory” center for deaf and hard of hearing students in India. The MOU lists five areas of cooperation: strategic partnership, training opportunities, learning opportunities, exchange opportunities, and resource sharing. This agreement was signed by Dr. Khadijat K. Rashid, Provost of Gallaudet University, and Dipesh Sutariya, chief executive officer of EnAble India. 

The next day, Dr. Rashid signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Rt. Rev. Prof. Prof. Samuel Sunday Obeka, Vice Chancellor of Wesley University Ondo in Nigeria. Gallaudet and Wesley seek to establish and facilitate cooperation between both parties in building the instructional capacity of Wesley University-Ondo. The objective of this MOA is to deliver an innovative, state-of-the-art academic program in deaf education.  

Gallaudet and Wesley will establish the pedagogical framework, and expertise and support, through funding resource personnel and materials towards deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing education. Wesley will provide facilities and personnel for primary, secondary, and tertiary education for deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people, and foster broad and diverse engagement to facilitate a national network of knowledge and community of best practices in Nigeria, including a website with free access to all research findings, bilingual deaf education strategies, and curriculum to support deaf educators throughout Nigeria.  

The agreement will also highlight Gallaudet’s seasoned professionals in the field of deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing education, whose primary role will be to provide support and mentorship, as needed, to impart education and lifelong learning opportunities to enhance capacity building for self-sufficiency and employment for Deaf communities in Nigeria and beyond. 

The third agreement is between Gallaudet and Deaf Connect, an organization based in Australia which describes itself as “the leading service provider and social impact organization for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing Australians.” President Cordano signed it with Brett Casey, chief executive officer of Deaf Connect, during a Gallaudet alumni event held yesterday evening.  

The multi-year partnership between Gallaudet and Deaf Connect encompasses the following: 

Education and training: The institutions will collaborate on immersion educational programs and training opportunities to equip Deaf individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in various fields to gain the “Gallaudet University experience.” In particular, there will be sharing of resources in specific domains such as youth, leadership, research, education, and early intervention.  

Policy and awareness: Both organizations are committed to raising awareness about the challenges faced by the Deaf community and advocating for their rights. Through joint efforts, they will strive to influence policies and societal attitudes to create a more inclusive environment for Deaf individuals. This partnership will amplify their collective voice and empower them to bring about positive change.  

Community engagement: Deaf Connect and Gallaudet University recognize the importance of community engagement and will collaborate on initiatives that foster social connections and support networks within the Deaf community through organizing opportunities for employees and students including internships, study abroad tours, and Virtual Exchange Collaborative Online International Learning, which aim to create opportunities for Deaf individuals to come together, share experiences, and build lasting relationships.  

Technology and innovation: The partnership will leverage technology and innovation to develop accessible solutions that enhance communication, education, and employment opportunities for the Deaf community. Gallaudet University’s expertise in research and technology, coupled with Deaf Connect’s on-the-ground experience and history, will drive the development of cutting-edge solutions that address the unique challenges faced by Deaf individuals.  

Global leadership events: Gallaudet and Deaf Connect began their partnership at WFD by co-hosting a pre-Congress global leadership event. They plan a number of follow-up events.

Recent News

Stay up to date on all the gallaudet happenings, both stories, and initiatives, we are doing with our Signing community!