Four winners of the ACR GCD/GBA Begin with Books Competition Announced
eKitabu, Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), SIL LEAD and The Asia Foundation each were awarded $200,000 or more to create cost-effective packages of high-quality accessible children’s books in languages children use and understand. Over two years, the prize winners collectively will create thousands of leveled books in seven underserved spoken languages and nine sign languages, serving regions of the world where children have little or no books for kindergarten or preschool.
Prize winners will create accessible e-books in stages over the next two years. Completed titles will be uploaded to the Global Digital Library (GDL), a web-based platform that offers free, high-quality early learning resources in more than 40 languages. Many of the books will be adapted from other open source content already available on the GDL and other platforms, while new books created will be open source to allow for adaptation into other languages or contexts.
In addition to book creation, the prize winners will join ACR GCD’s new Sign Language Storybook Cohort (SLSC) consisting of other ACR GCD awardees and their partners from local Disabled Persons Organizations to determine standards for sign language storybook production in underserved languages.
About the winners:
eKitabu will scale work begun in Kenya and Rwanda through ACR GCD’s Book Boost and Sign On For Literacy prizes to implement the Open Books Malawi initiative. The project will deliver a total of 270 books—220 in Tumbuka and 50 in Malawian Sign Language—to the GDL, which already houses more than 120 accessible African EPUBs digitized by eKitabu.
Rochester Institute of Technology - The creation of 1,200 accessible books in the sign languages of Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, the Fiji Islands, and Samoa.
SIL Lead - SIL LEAD will develop 200 quality, accessible books in the Soninke and Sénoufo languages of Mali, for a total of 400 books. The nonprofit also will add Malian Sign Language to 20 selected titles.
The Asia Foundation - TAF will work with communities in Laos, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea to develop 380 children’s books in six local languages to be published under Creative Commons license on the GDL and the Let’s Read digital library.