A school offering free high-quality bilingual education for deaf children
- Bilingual Intercultural Education Project (PEIB)
- Country of Implementation
- Start Year
- First published
“The institute also offers free sign language courses for families with deaf children and for schools integrating deaf students.”
Instituto de la Sordera (Indesor) is a non-profit private corporation based in Santiago de Chile that provides free high-quality education to deaf students. Starting with vocational training, Indesor’s Dr. Jorge Otte Gabler School has developed into offering primary and secondary school as well. In a pioneering ‘reverse inclusion’ process, Indesor has also begun to educate hearing children . Since 2020 the institute has provided education to about 100 students yearly and has become a national reference centre in inclusive education for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Deaf children and young people in Chile do not have access to education that meets their needs, and as a consequence do not have access to higher education or adequate employment.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The Dr. Jorge Otte Gabler School, a non-profit organization launched in 1998 by the Instituto de la Sordera (Indesor), is the only bilingual intercultural school in the country that offers education to vulnerable deaf children, adolescents, and young people by recognizing and valuing the deaf culture and respecting the use of sign language. It began by offering vocational training to disadvantaged deaf youth in San Joaquín, Santiago, and by 2023 has expanded its offerings to include primary and secondary education. Through the ‘Proyecto de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe’ (Intercultural Bilingual Education, PEIB) project, Indesor provides free, high-quality education to deaf students from low-income families. This education model is fully bilingual (Spanish and Chilean Sign Language) and features self-developed training models for teachers and a variety of learning materials. Beyond the classroom, Indesor collaborates with numerous civil society organizations to foster the academic, social, and professional integration of its graduates. The institute also offers free sign language courses for families with deaf children and for schools integrating deaf students. Additionally, it provides online resources, including materials on preventing sexual abuse of deaf children, and hosts complimentary lectures and webinars, all at no charge. Indesor collaborates with the Chilean Ministry of Education and other government bodies to train deaf professionals and educators, and to create teaching materials for nationwide use. In 2022 the PEIB received the Ibero-American Prize for Human Rights Education from the Organization of Ibero-American States.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The most important source of income for Indesor is a regular subsidy by the Chilean Ministry of Education of appx €500,000 annually, with additional income from donations and course sales. Instituto de la Sordera has become a national model of inclusive education for deaf students. As such, the Ministry of Education has commissioned Indesor to train deaf professionals and educators who work with deaf children throughout the country. (Awardee 2024)