We hope that this meeting will be a new beginning for the deaf students in Ghana. It is a chance for us to come together and offer support programs that these students deserve
Salt Lake City, UT (Vocus) May 12, 2008
Rachel Coleman, Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, will be returning to Ghana, West Africa this week to speak with International NGOs, representatives of Ghana's government and educators about improving education for deaf students in Ghana.
Coleman (co-founder of Two Little Hands Productions and The Signing Time Foundation), along with representatives of the Utah-based Association for Deaf Children (ADC), has accepted a special invitation from Signs of Hope International and the Ghana National Association of the Deaf to meet several world organizations including the Ministry of Special Education in Ghana.
In January of this year, Signs of Hope International partnered with Coleman and the Signing Time team to go to Ghana for 10 days to improve sign language vocabulary for deaf students. During the visit, both organizations also helped teachers learn how to teach sign language to their deaf students. Curry Jones, founder of Signs of Hope International along with representatives from the Ghana National Association of the Deaf, will speak to about the benefits and successes of implementing programs dedicated to helping deaf students and teachers improve their sign language skills. Materials like the Signing Time series and other sign language education methods will be discussed as part of an overall goal to make Ghanian Sign Language (GSL) a standard education requirement for teachers of deaf students in Ghana.
"We hope that this meeting will be a new beginning for the deaf students in Ghana. It is a chance for us to come together and offer support programs that these students deserve," said Jones.
Coleman, who co-created Signing Time to teach children to communicate with ASL, has seen firsthand the miracles that come from using sign language. As the mother of a daughter who is deaf, and another with cerebral palsy and spina bifida, she has personally experienced the benefits of using sign language as a communication tool for all children.
"I am so excited for the opportunity to go back to Ghana and speak with decision-makers about the future of the deaf education in Ghana," said Coleman. "My hope is that the leaders in this community and country will understand the value of deaf education and provide a future for deaf children to live normal lives."
Signs of Hope International, the Ghana National Association of the Deaf, The Signing Time Foundation and ADC hope to make this a successful meeting that will improve opportunities for deaf students in Africa.
ABOUT THE SIGNING TIME FOUNDATION
Sign language is often the only way for many children with special needs to communicate, and all children can benefit from the social and educational advantages achieved through the inclusion of sign in their learning.
The Signing Time Foundation is dedicated to making sign language fun and accessible to all children, creating a world in which all children can express themselves and be understood.
HOW IT STARTED-THE AFRICA PROJECT
In a recent interview, Leah Coleman (co-star of Signing Time) was asked the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" She replied, "I want to be a writer and make books; or a teacher for the deaf African kids that don't know sign language yet." Leah was born profoundly deaf and has lived an extraordinary life despite her challenges. When she heard about the many struggles that deaf students in Ghana face to receive an education and be accepted in society, she said, "Mom, we have to do something!"
In January of this year, the Signing Time team, including Signing Time host Rachel Coleman, along with her co-stars, nephew Alex Brown and daughter Leah Coleman, went to Ghana, West Africa for 10 days to improve sign language vocabulary for students that are deaf. The Signing Time Team also helped the teachers learn how to teach sign language.
Fans and media can follow along with the Signing Time team as Rachel blogs about their experiences live from Ghana.
ABOUT SIGNING TIME
Two Little Hands Productions produces and distributes Signing Time, a captivating and entertaining ASL DVD series and public television program. Signing Time was created to make signing fun and easy for children of all ages and abilities. Signing Time has become the largest library of entertaining signing videos of its kind available and offers an unparalleled multi-sensory approach to teaching children ASL. Signing Time reaches children with diverse learning styles and encourages interaction through signing, singing, speaking and moving.
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