Storymakers – deaf children’s multiliteracies in India, Ghana and Uganda

Gillen, Julia and Papen, Uta (2021) Storymakers – deaf children’s multiliteracies in India, Ghana and Uganda. In: UK Literacy Association 56th International Conference, 2021-07-022021-07-04, online.

Full text not available from this repository.


We report on the challenges and benefits encountered in a project aimed at encouraging multiliteracies by deaf children across modes of Sign Languages drawing and writing. Our project, working with deaf children in sites in India, Ghana and Uganda, is nested within a 3 year ESRC/DFID project: ‘Peer to peer deaf multiliteracies: research into a sustainable approach to education of deaf children and young adults.’ This storymakers project adapted materials from the “Joy of Multiliteracies” project by K. Kumpulainen and colleagues at the Univeristy of Helsinki which was designed to encourage teachers of young children with non-dominant L1 to work with them to craft their own storybooks. We first demonstrate our artistic collaboration with Finnish colleagues and how materials were adapted and training resources created. With an ethnographic perspective we analysed the various ways the project developed in the diverse locations and how the storybooks were “rewritten”. Our analysis of findings from 5 different sites demonstrates diverse interpretations, linguistic and other variations. Through qualitative vignettes we demonstrate examples and reflect on how this project is influencing our understandings of multiliteracies, accessibility and the useful notion of semiotic repertoire. The storymakers project is an exemplar of a strength-based approach to deafness and an active resistance to marginalisation of these young children and their communities.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
UK Literacy Association 56th International Conference
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Dec 2021 14:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 14:49