News update, January 2019

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. 

She is survived by her daughter, Anna Komarova, director of the Zaitseva Deaf Centre in Moscow, her granddaughter Lisa and her great-granddaughter Alia.

Her story formed one chapter of a book published by her parents, entitled A Person cannot Hear. This became a best seller and was the first Russian book on deafness to achieve that status. An English translation, under the title Life or Hearing is available free of charge from mbdsa. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Barber bequest

We are still open to grant applications to this fund. Ideally, projects should be for the benefit of Russian Deaf children, but more general applications will also be considered. Grants are likely to be insufficient to cover a whole project but may be used to partially fund such a project. Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a brief (c. 400 words maximum) outline of your overall project and explain what you would use a small grant for.

For more information about the bequest, read the News Update of June 2018.

Person of the Year

At a ceremony in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow on 23 September (International Day of Sign languages), this year's award by Mosgorvog (the Moscow Deaf organisation) was awarded to Anna Komarova and accepted on her behalf by her deputy Tanya Davidenko. This was the eighth time the award had been made and the first time. Pozdravlyayem!

School 65

We have two very positive pieces of news from School 65, the host school for the original bilingual school.

 A Year 1 bilingual group has restarted, under the guidance of Sonia Kuman. Among the pupils are the sons of former pupils of the bilinguals Kuman; the sons of two former pupils of the bilingual school are in the new group: Marina Grebneva's Arsenii (see photo) and Lena Lapenkova's Andrei.


The museum set up by the late Galina Zaitseva will reopen at the end of February. We hope to include photos of it in our next update.

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