about mbdsa

mbdsa: Moscow Bilingual Deaf School Association

mbdsa was started by Michael Pursglove in 1994. The objective of mbdsa is to support the bilingual school for Deaf children in Moscow. 

The organisation is based in UK but is in regular contact with partners in Moscow. Michael Pursglove himself is a Russian speaker; he and his team can deal with enquiries in English; Russian; Belarusian; Ukrainian; French; German; Spanish; Italian and Dutch. 

The bilingual Deaf school is the only Deaf school in Russia where Sign Language has equal status with the written/spoken language. Independent of the state system, the school has been supported by mbdsa since its foundation.

The bilingual school for Deaf children is part of the Moscow Centre for Deaf Studies and Bilingual Education. This unique and independent Centre was founded in 1999.



The Centre for Deaf Studies and Bilingual Education has an informative website: http://vk.com/deafsign. In Russian only!





Anna Komarova, director of the Zaitseva Deaf Centre, demonstrating fingerspelling in Sokolniki Park, Moscow, as part of the celebrations for International Deaf Day (24 September 2013)


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(Last updated: December 2016)


September 2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Bilingual Deaf School, as a part of Deaf School 65. In the last quarter of a century the techniques pioneered initially in single-class groups have been adopted throughout School 65.

It is also 25 years – and possibly even 26 years – since the term "RSL", first coined by the late Galina Zaitseva – became generally accepted, both in Russia and in the West.

The staff involved in setting up the school, notably Anna Komarova (the child of Deaf parents and a fluent signer in both RSL and BSL) and Tanya Davidenko (from a Deaf family) are now involved with the Galina Zaitseva Deaf Centre, an independent organisation which mbdsa is pleased to support.


Tanya Davidenko and students at the Galina Zaitseva Deaf Centre