The goal of the program is to introduce in China the international, advanced, and scientific methods of bilingual education for the hearing impaired. The program was designed to suit China's social and cultural background.
Linguistically it makes sense that sign language is the natural language for the hearing impaired to learn first. Therefore we ensure that the hearing impaired children enjoy compulsory education, starting from preschool. Their basic education is then synchronized with other children of the same age, promoting quality deaf education in China and benefitting many.
This project is aiming at using the experiences gained in Jiangsu to promote sign bilingual deaf education to the 10 selected special education schools in Sichuan and Guizhou. We teach deaf children Chinese Sign Language (CSL) as their first language; teaching Chinese as their second language, and teaching all the other school subjects in CSL. Therefore we are bringing awareness to the educators that CSL is the natural language of deaf people in China in a linguistic sense; ensuring the rights of deaf children to use CSL, the language they are most easy to access. Therefore, the children can receive equal education from preschool. Furthermore, the project is promoting deaf people’s participation in deaf education and providing CSL training to the parents to improve the communication between parents and child at home.
In 2012, there were 225 children in the 21 bilingual classes from preschool to Grade 6 in the 10 project schools having been benefited directly by receiving the bilingual education taught by both hearing and deaf teachers. The 19 deaf teachers, who taught in cooperation with their hearing counterparts in the 10 bilingual project schools, have played very important roles in the project.