The Victorian Deaf Education Institute (VDEI) is leading a national project to support the implementation of the Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program in Australian schools.
The Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program is an evidence-based, supplementary early literacy program developed in the United States specifically for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who are not able to develop phonological awareness through listening to develop literacy skills.
The Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program has two components:
- Phonological Fingerspelling
- Reading Comprehension
The national project commenced in 2018 and has involved:
- A professional partnership between VDEI, the Queensland Department of Education and Professor Brenda Schick from the University of Colorado Boulder to adapt the Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program for use with Auslan
- The translation of program resources (Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading kits) from American Sign Language (ASL) to Australian Sign Language (Auslan).
- The selection of Lead Trainers from around Australia to support the implementation of the program in each State and Territory.
- The development of a Train the Trainer model, whereby lead trainers are supported to upskill other educators to deliver the program in Australian schools.
- Periodic collection of data to track the outcomes of deaf and hard of hearing students participating in the Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program around Australia
If you would like more information about the Fingerspelling our Way to Reading program, the following online resources are available on our website: