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 They continued to teach the same out-of-date manual skills for which a market no longer existed.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

  • What a Royal weekend! For another Royal fix come and join us for our Annual Fundraising Lunch on June 7th with Tom Bower, author of the Rebel Prince where he will be talking about 'PRINCES, TYCOONS AND OTHER RIFF RAFF'... Tickets are £100 (including a copy of The Rebel Prince) and you can purchase tickets through our website: http://ortuk.org/events/annual-lunch-0
  • Next week the community celebrates Israel with the Israel at 70 Concert. We're looking forward to seeing a diverse line up of Israeli culture including the soul funk of Ethiopian Israeli Gili Yalo and the Yeminite electronic dance of A-WA. All this in the presence of HRH Prince Charles and Natan Sharansky נתן שרנסקי! Come and join us... You can book tickets on line http://www.israel70.uk With thanks to The Jewish Leadership Council, UJIA, Israel Bonds, UK, the Gerald Ronson Family Foundation, the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the The Jewish Chronicle
  • Invite to the Royal wedding lost in the post? Don't despair! Just catch it on TV and instead book tickets for ORT UK's Annual Lunch, with investigative journalist Tom Bower! http://ortuk.org/events/annual-lunch-0 The author of the explosive Prince Charles biography 'Rebel Prince' promises to reveal all his secrets on 'Princes, Tycoons and Other Riff Raff' and we can't wait!
  • ORT UK shared World ORT's post.
  • BOOK NOW for the ORT UK Golf Day! http://ortuk.org/events/ort-uk-golf-day-20th-june-2018
  • Latest News

    Our Bar/Batmitzvah twinning group have returned from an incredible weekend in Kiev.

    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.