Leveraging on innovations within Media and technology to reach Deaf youths with SRHR information as well as to reduce the inequalities existing in digital space for Deaf audience.
Deaf Outreach Program (DEAFOP)
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
The Practice was born form the premises that a) There has been an increase in technology and media penetration in Africa and in Kenya b) That at least 50% of Kenyan Youth have access to Digital devices including mobile phones c) That of this 50% Include Deaf youth who solely use Visual communication as a form of communication through sign language which include Video Calls in various platforms d) That there has be no maximization of digital and media innovation to reach deaf youths e) That Deaf person has been discriminated in information access and sharing f) That the lack of information access has contributed to increased gender based violence among Deaf Population Out of this premises we embarked on mainly three things which includes i. Creating SRHR sign language content ii. Innovating a wholly dedicated Sign language mobile App iii. Leveraging of Digital and media space for content dissemination to Deaf Youth Audience The Mobile App is available on play store under search name SRHR-Sign language or through the following link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.deafop.srhr_signlangu… and the Signs language films are available on http://citygirl.deafopkenya.org/videos/ To date the films we have reached to over 5000 Deaf youths across the country and the App has over 800 Downloads, Though the content is created in Kenyan Sign language we have seen an increased absorption of the content globally due to the unlimited nature of technology and the big Divide and exclusion of Deaf information accessibility across the globe We have also used the innovations in 2020 to disseminate information on COVID-19 to deaf Audience toward prevention of rapid infection and adherence to government advice and restrictions. The methods in which we have adopted are sustainable and can be expanded to reach Deaf Audience with more information as its created, transcribed in sign language and in attaining various SDG
The Implementation of the project has been active in a span of two years with the innovation products being out for 1 year, the project started in January 2019 and successfully completed in December 2020 through funding from AmplifyChange. The design of the project was informed by research and experiences of Deaf Youths including Girls and women which showed the following a) Increased Gender based violence among Deaf Girls and women b) Lack of access to SRHR information in sign language c) Lack of believe in potential and gifting of Deaf youths in media and technology d) Lack of education content both in Deaf schools and outside school for Deaf person in Health and well being From this a team of Deaf youth ,Deaf women and girls ,a member of Children of Deaf Parent and Innovation team come together to find solution that was sustainable ,scalable ,cost effective and surpasses time, events and distance hence the decision to leverage on already existing mobile platform for sign language App and social media platforms for film contents So far the project has reached to over 5000 person both online and offline with the numbers growing everyday through daily engagement, dissemination and improvements. From the feedback that we receive in monitoring and evaluation we are continuing to improve the platforms eg at the launch of the Mobile App the initial design was for content to available only offline with one time download but the audience advised to make it available for online view especially for individuals with limited phone space for saving the content. We use various monitoring and evaluation methods such as individual feedback online ,group discussions ,interviews and SMS communication ,we are at a period where we are designing an extra feature in our current mobile App which will enable user to send an instant feedback or question which shall go a great way in enriching interaction ,learning and improvement of work The project implementation costed USD 75,000 Which went along way in supporting the innovation ,direct work and human resource involved in the its implementation
The project has yielded the following Results/Outputs a) Through our project innovation more than 5000 Deaf people have been reached with SRHR information. b) Through the engagement of Media and technology as channels of change Deaf youths are interacting with digital devices in a language they understand c) Through the SRHR information access Deaf Youth and Girls are able to make informed decisions on their Health and well being d) More families and parent of Deaf children are interacting with their Deaf children better in advice of SRHR decisions and choice due to availability of transcription of sign language content in written format in PDF e) During COVID-19 we have engage the App in reaching Deaf youth in accessing Government and ministry of Health advisory in COVID-19 Prevention f) The project has sparked discussion of inclusive technology and media content for PWD in accessible formats The project has successfully impacted Deaf youth in area of SRHR, and highlighted the participation and contribution of Deaf person in the digital space
Just Like any other Project we had some enabling factor that ensured that the project become a success and come to fruition with over 5000 Reach some of which were a) Kind Financial Support from AmplifyChange b) Human resource including Tech Volunteers who offered their knowledge and skills c) Existing technologies and social media platforms that we could engage to be of benefit to Deaf Audience d) Vast Knowledge ,skills and experience of Deaf Target Audience e) Great pre-existing Network of Deaf Learning institutions who become one of offline distribution channel of end Product However this was not without some constraint some of which has been a learning curve along the way, some of this constraint included: a) Emergence of COVID-19 which restricted our movement and personal interaction at the height of mobile app Launch and Sign language film launch. b) Lack of traveling and advertising budget for awareness across the country to reach Deaf person c) Lack of a dedicated budget to support post production costs d) High Data cost making it difficult for some Deaf Audience without a form of income to benefit from the end products e) Currently the Mobile App is only available on Android platform and not on IOS
Due to the digitized nature of our project and innovation the project is sustainable and has the ability for replicability and scaling up, with additional coding on the App it provides for opportunity to add extra features and content such as a) Online Question and Answers on SRHR information and well being b) Can provide platform for Gender based reporting and linkage to service provider inline of SRHR and well being c) Has allowance for unlimited data Upload which create space for additional content d) Has ability of additional plugging to offer voice to Blind Audience Among other features and benefit as continuously being advised by the Audience and availability of financing . When it comes to Films and Content creation on this first phase, we produced eight (8) episodes of Season one which avails opportunity to grow the production further while expanding the theme across SDGs.
Covid-19 Pandemic presented several challenges and lessons for the project as it happened during active phase of implementation .however more than before it affirmed our choice of leveraging on opportunity presented by media and technology in project delivery. During this Period we were able to use our mobile Phone App to include and extra feature of COVID-19 information in Sign language and to monitor how COVID-19 interlinked to SRHR . As an ongoing effort in monitoring of the project we are appreciating the continuous engagement with our Audience through various Digital and social media platform which has enabled us reach Deaf persons beyond regions we would expect of. Beyond the SDGs that the project was mainly speaking into it revealed the interconnection of all the 17 SDGs and how one speaks/impacts the other for example when looking at SDG 1,2,4,8 in light of COVID-19 and our SRHR work we realized the following Poverty Impacted on Deaf persons and our work in that majority of Deaf without employment could not afford Data connectivity, Television or a smart Phone hence could not benefit from our work. In addition COVID-19 necessitated School Closure and most classroom work through government initiative was through Digital device, however due to high poverty rate among Deaf Families combined with technological illiteracy and lack of adequate Sign language content on available channels most Deaf children lagged behind in accessing quality Education. Also speaking to SDG 8, COVID-19 caused majority of Young deaf informal employment and living in informal settlement lose their Jobs which in turn exposed Deaf Girls and women to Sexual abuse, Lack of daily meals making SRHR secondary
SDGS & Targets
Deliverables & Timeline
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The Key Beneficiary of the project are Deaf person especially Young Deaf Person including Deaf girls and women of ages 24-45 years However due to multidimensional approach to project implementation Media station dedicated to PWD have adopted the content and disseminated in their individual channels such as in televisions. Also several Deaf schools have adopted the content and they are using the content in their various training which has greatly contributed to larger impact of ensuring that Deaf youths especially Deaf Girls and Women have Right information about SRHR contributing to reduced Gender based violence ,gender inequality and increasing individual and families well being and health.
Ann Gloria , Leveraging on innovations within Media and technology to reach Deaf youths with SRHR information as well as to reduce the inequalities existing in digital space for Deaf audience.which speaks and contributes to SDG 3 and 10