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Challenge <p>Sign On For Literacy</p>

Sign On For Literacy

STATUS: Awarded
Posted: Nov 08 2017
Challenge ID: 9934006
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Acquisition of a first language is essential for early childhood development and a building block for learning to read. Literacy is linked to all development goals contributing to psycho-social health, employment opportunities, economic growth, and breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Globally for children who are deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind (henceforth referred to as ‘Deaf’#), access to and education in a local sign language is often limited or absent. Without access to whole language with frequent and daily input to an accessible and natural language, the foundations of literacy, children are prevented from reaching their full potential. In developing countries and low-resource contexts, literacy outcomes for children who are Deaf are particularly substandard. As such, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is launching the Sign On For Literacy Prize, which seeks technology-based innovations to increase access to local sign languages and develop literacy interventions for children who are Deaf in low-resource contexts. Winning innovations must be novel, while utilizing technology to make a significant impact upon learning and literacy in the Deaf Community.

#‘Deaf’ is an inclusive umbrella term encompassing people with varying hearing levels, including people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.



Exposure to natural and accessible language at an early age is paramount for early childhood development and promotes cognitive and literacy development. The Sign On For Literacy Prize seeks technology-based innovations to increase access to sign languages and literacy interventions for children who are Deaf in low-resource contexts. These innovations will assist parents, educators, communities, and governments in enhancing early childhood development outcomes, improving access to local sign languages, and increasing literacy outcomes of children who are Deaf. For this prize, a technology-based innovation includes a broad range of information and communication technologies and video media. These can include: hardware, software, Internet and mobile applications among other technologies and platforms.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 16, 2018.  For further information about this Competition and to apply, please click here to be directed to its dedicated website.

About All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), established in 2011 as a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision and the Australian Government, is an ongoing series of competitions that leverages science and technology to source, test, and disseminate scalable solutions to improve literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. The global initiative focuses on sourcing, accelerating, and measuring the impact of technology-based innovations with the potential to transform the learning process and classroom experience at an individual, community, and national level. For the Sign On For Literacy Prize, ACR GCD is collaborating with the World Federation of the Deaf, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and Deaf Child Worldwide.

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An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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