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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Mick Barber (1935-2017)

It is our sad duty to report that one of mbdsa's staunchest supporters and most generous benefactors died on  20 October 2017 at the age of 82. Mick's links with Russian Deaf people go back to the 1970s. When the Moscow Bilingual Deaf School opened in 1992, and the mbdsa support group was formed in 1994, Mick immediately pledged his support, both moral and financial. 

For more information and the News Update of June 2018, click here

  • 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)
  • Zaitseva Centre

    Zaitseva Centre

    Deaf students training to be RSL teachers at the Zaitseva Centre.
  • Dasha Semyonova

    Dasha Semyonova

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


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