Breaking the Digital Divide: Developing an ICT Curriculum for Russia’s Deaf Students

ORT's International Cooperation Department uses the charity's 130 years of experience in skills and vocational education to aid newly-emergent and developing nations. Through its IC work, ORT acts as an ambassador for the Jewish people in vulnerable communities across the world.

Under the Soviet regime in Russia, disabled students of every kind were removed from their parents and placed in state-run boarding schools, where they were taught vocational skills perceived as useful to the state. Russia’s deaf students were drafted into their country’s nuclear programme, where the government hoped to use their greater tactile sense, and to utilise their difficulties in communication to minimise the risk of spying.

With the fall of communism, investment in these vocational schools cease. They continued to teach the same out-of-date manual skills for which a market no longer existed. Typically, girls were taught dressmaking, and the boys metal working. In this way, generations of deaf students were condemned to a cycle of poverty and dependence, unable to earn sufficiently through their skills to maintain themselves and their families. Yet there is no reason why a deaf child cannot be taught marketable and desirable information technology skills which would allow them to get a job and earn a decent living.

Working with the Tula Vocational School and the Moscow School for the Deaf, ORT launched a programme to develop an ICT curriculum for deaf students in the countries of the Former Soviet Union.

Generously supported by the St James’s Place Foundation.

Latest Facebook Posts

  • ORT UK added 4 new photos.
  • Very happy that ORT UK partnered with Jewish Interactive and Finchley Reform Synagogue to bring Kanos, Codebugs, robots and Minecraft to FRS Tech Camp. Was a pleasure to work with Rachel Fidler Frs and Chana Kanzen to make it happen. #teched
  • We’d like to introduce the new Director General and CEO of World ORT – Avi Ganon. Avi has many years experience of working with ORT, first leading World ORT operations in the former Soviet Union and most recently as Chief Executive of World ORT Kadima Mada קדימה מדע in Israel. Wishing Avi b'hatzlacha and we look forward to working with him in supporting the beneficiaries of World ORT's schools and education projects in the former Soviet Union, Israel and beyond.
  • Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising a free donation for ORT UK. There are nearly 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline, ebay and Sainsbury’s, who will donate a percentage of the amount you spend to ORT UK to say thank you for shopping with them. It’s really simple, and doesn’t cost you anything. All you have to do is: 1. Go to 2. Sign up for free 3. Get shopping – your donations will be collected by easyfundraising and automatically sent to ORT UK. It couldn’t be easier! There are no catches or hidden charges and ORT UK will be really grateful for your donations. Thank you for your support.
  • ORT UK shared The Jewish Chronicle's post.
  • Latest News

    The latest edition of the jump newsletter can be downloaded here


    Donate Now

    ORT UK raises funds in the UK to support a variety of ORT projects, at home and abroad. Please donate and help us provide our students with an Education For Life.