Advancing Innovation in Adult Education

The Manhattan Strategy Group announced this week the third round of innovative practices in adult education, as selected by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project, recognizing the Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership for its innovation and effectiveness.

Launched in the fall of 2018, the Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership provides adult basic literacy to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through a partnership between Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Ohio School for the Deaf, and the Delaware Area Career Center Aspire. The program offers adult learners who are Deaf and hard of hearing, literacy in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The program seeks to provide individuals who are Deaf and hard of hearing with the literacy and communication skills needed to further their career potential.

“We’re helping Ohioans who are Deaf and hard of hearing further their communication skills so that they can succeed in not only getting and keeping jobs but also advancing their careers,” said OOD Director Kevin Miller. “Good communication skills help employees understand others, be understood by others, and advance more quickly in their careers.”

The recognition names the Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership as innovative for their approaches modeling effective integrated education and training (IET) programs, transitioning adult learners from adult basic education to postsecondary education or training, and increasing access to adult education services. The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). The Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership is featured in a report, gallery of innovative practices, and a recorded webinar released in observance of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

Participants of the Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership become more fluent in both ASL and English through 8-12 hours per week of learning opportunities through group classes, online modules, and one-on-one sessions with an instructor. All learning features direct communication without the intervention of a sign language interpreter. The program focuses on improving overall communication abilities, workplace communication skills, reading levels, and independent living skills.

September is Deaf Awareness Month, celebrated annually to help raise awareness about the language, culture, and diversity of the Deaf community in the United States.

OOD is the state agency responsible for empowering Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence. www.OOD.Ohio.Gov