Signing Safe Futures! online platform for professionals is an innovative digital toolkit which creates a community for those working with D/deaf children across the globe to improve their understanding of the safeguarding and protection needs of D/deaf children.
DeafKidz International (DKI) and Every1Mobile have partnered to develop an online platform, that will enable professionals such as teachers, police, social workers and health workers to access online training and resources and access peer and expert support, wherever they are, through their mobile phone.
Starting with a trial in South Africa, the platform will be accessible by mobile phone or desktop and will include:
- E-learning modules on:
- Communication with D/deaf Children and Young People (CYP)
- Gender-Based Violence
- Child Sexual exploitation within D/deaf settings
- Support for D/deaf CYP survivors of abuse and strategies for resilience
- Peer-to-peer forums
- Expert/peer Questions and Answers (Q&A)
- Resource packs, outlining steps and guidelines for responding to the distinct protection needs of D/deaf CYP
- A dedicated network for parents
- Referral linkages to physical service points or organisations such as Childline
D/deaf children and young People are often at an increased risk of abuse because of communications barriers, increased isolation and their dependency on others. Thus the aim for the platform is to improve awareness and understanding of D/deaf children’s rights to stay safe from abuse and exploitation, tabling content which will enable professionals to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding, protection and victim needs. Designed to be scalable, the platform will be tested in South Africa before cascading to Jamaica and other territories thereafter.
By the end of 2020, Every1Mobile and DeafKidz International (DKI) aims to make Signing Safe Futures Digital Toolkit available to professionals in emerging markets around the world through networked organisations including DKI’s partner, The World Federation of the Deaf.
“As the global leader working to ensure the protection and safeguarding of D/deaf children and young people, we at DeafKidz International commend the development of this toolkit which is aimed at ensuring no D/deaf child has to endure the agony of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. Designed to accompany other digital gaming resources which are aimed specifically at children, this toolkit is about educating professionals and getting them to understand the role they play in reducing the risk and vulnerability of Deaf children to abuse; and when abuse sadly occurs – affording victim and survivor support in the communication mode of choice – sign language, sign-supported spoken language, aural method or DeafBlind manual. Working in partnership with Every1Mobile, this toolkit will make a difference in the lives of thousands of D/deaf children in low resource and complex settings. Together, we will ensure no D/deaf child is left behind”
-Steve Crump, CEO- DeafKidz International