International NGO using digital books with sign language and audio for all children
- Timwerenge 365 (T365) Digital Books Project
- Country of Implementation
- In cooperation with
- the Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD)
- Start Year
- First published
“The T365 Digital Books project helps learners with disabilities access books with audio, text highlighting, and Malawian Sign Language.” Joseph Chikoko, MEAL Specialist, World Vision Malawi
World Vision Malawi (WVM) implemented the Timwerenge 365 Digital Books Project, offering accessible digital books to support children’s literacy. Using existing digitally accessible books, including 60 with Malawian Sign Language, WVM equipped reading facilitators with devices and training to support 3,500 children, including 90+ children with print, learning, and hearing disabilities. Working with the Malawi National Association of the Deaf, in 2023 the project was extended to schools for the deaf throughout the ocuntry.
Printed books typically used in Malawi schools are not accessible to children with disabilities.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The Timwerenge 365 (T365) Digital Books project supplies staff and local partners, including organizations of persons with disabilities, with the content, devices, and training necessary to increase children’s literacy. The T365 Digital Books project started with existing digitally accessible books, developed by World Vision Malawi (WVM), including 60 books with Malawian Sign Language video. The books were loaded onto SD cards, which could be inserted into digital tablets for individual use or connected to a projector for use by an entire class or reading club. The books can be accessed via the project-provided SD cards or via apps, such as Bloom Reader, to complement printed books, and can include human narrated audio, sign language video, zoom, large font, and text highlighting. In addition, parents can access the digital books on their phones, extending reading into homes. WVM equipped reading club facilitators with the necessary devices and training to support 3,500 children, including 90+ children with various disabilities. Working with the Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD), the project has been extended to seven schools for the deaf across Malawi. Mid-term monitoring reports showed high levels of satisfaction with the books, comfort with the devices, and increased attendance in reading clubs. In 2023, WVM and MANAD partnered in the Inclusive Education Working Group of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
T365 Digital Books is financed by World Vision, which committed $78,000 to the initial rollout. Going forward, the project will be integrated with WVM’s education technical programme. To improve transferability, all books are located on Bloom, a digital library, which provides easy adaptation and creation of new sign language storybooks. WVM plans to reach 10,000 children with disabilities by 2027. (Awardee 2024)