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!


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News update

Irina Veniaminovna Tsukerman (1937-2018)

We are sad to announce the death, on October 19th, after a long illness of Irina Tsukerman.

Irina was born hearing but, at the age of nine, contracted tubercular meningitis. At the time there was no cure available for this in Russia, so her father, a distinguished nuclear scientist took the unprecedented step of sourcing the cure in America. 

Irina's life was saved and she became known in Russia as the "First Child", but the price of saving her life was deafness. Thereafter Irina became a prominent figure in Moscow and national Deaf circles. She wrote a number of  books, visited many countries, including UK twice and USA and had friends, both Deaf and hearing, all over the world.  

For more information and the News Update of January 2019, click here

  • RSLteachers


    The RSL teachers at the Galina Zaitseva Centre for Deaf Studies and Bilingual Education.
  • Dasha Semyonova

    Dasha Semyonova

    Dasha Semyonova (former pupil) working with Galina, who is hearing but whose daughter Varvara is deaf.
  • Deaf Toddler

    Deaf Toddler

    Galina and daughter Varvara.
  • Babushkina


    Ania Babushkina, who is deaf from a hearing family working with Vova, who lost his hearing as a result of cancer.
  • Marina and son

    Marina and son

    Marina Grebeneva and Arsenii.
  • Dasha Semyonova

    Dasha Semyonova

    Dasha Semyonova, a graduate of the Bilingual School, taking an RSL class at the Zaitseva Centre
  • Anna Komarova

    Anna Komarova

    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)
  • Tanya Davidenko

    Tanya Davidenko

    An RSL exam in progress at the Zaitseva Centre. The signer is Tanya Davidenko. Netta Chausyan and Alexander (Sanya) Koryakin are the external examiners.
  • Zaitseva Centre

    Zaitseva Centre

    Deaf students training to be RSL teachers at the Zaitseva Centre.
  • Lena Silianova, Lena Lapenkova, Anna Komarova

    Lena Silianova, Lena Lapenkova, Anna Komarova

    Pictured at the Moscow Conference (see above), from left to right: Lena Silianova (Deaf teacher), Lena Lapenkova (Deaf former pupil), Anna Komarova (hearing SL interpreter and Director of the G.L. Zaitseva Deaf Centre
  • Tanya and students

    Tanya and students

    Tanya Davidenko and her students.