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

Tatyana Panteleyevna Davidenko (1953-2020)

Mbdsa, the Russian Deaf community, and many people throughout the world, both Deaf and hearing, suffered a grievous loss with the death on June 28 on Tatyana (“Tanya”) Davidenko. Born into a Deaf family, Tanya was, by the time of her death, the Deputy Director of the Zaitseva Deaf Centre in Moscow. Before that she had been an inspirational teacher, using only RSL, in the Bilingual School attached to Deaf School 65 in Moscow. She had also, together with Anna Komarova, visited many former Soviet republics as part of a project to examine, analyse and codify the Deaf sign languages of those countries, and had written many articles on the subject.

Dasha Semyonova, one of Tanya’s pupils in the Bilingual School is now a full member of staff at the Deaf Centre.

As is traditional in Russia, 40 days after her death, some 60 friends and colleagues gathered in the Theatre of Mime and Gesture to celebrate her life.

For more information and the News Update of December 2020, click here

  • Anna Komarova and her new book dedicated to Tanya

    Anna Komarova and her new book dedicated to Tanya

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tanya and students

    Tanya and students

    Tanya Davidenko and her students.