News, June 2017
There have already been some exciting developments at the Zaitseva Deaf Centre in 2017, and there is the promise of more to come.
April: A Conference on Bilingualism was held in Moscow. Our picture shows a former pupil of the Bilingual Deaf School, Lena Lapenkova, addressing the conference. Lena is now the mother of four children, all of them Deaf, and is the chair of the Parents' Organisation. Her subject is "Reading fairy tales in Sign Language" in kindergartens.
May: A course in BSL was held, run, via Skype, by the celebrated Deaf broadcaster Clive Mason. This is part of a research project led by Professor Bencie Woll of UCL. The participants, divided into three groups, are a mixture of Deaf and hearing students, some of whom know English and some of whom do not. An analogous, though much smaller-scale, course was held in 1995 by Anna Komarova at the Royal School for the Deaf, Exeter, when a group of Deaf English students, with no knowledge of Russian, were taught some basic RSL.
May 25 marked the end of a saga which began in January 2015, concerning the premises of the Deaf Centre. Thanks to the personal intervention of the Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobianin, an area of 149 square metres was made over rent-free to the Centre.
September: Events will be held to mark two significant anniversaries: the opening of the Bilingual Deaf School in 1992 and the eightieth birthday of Irina Veniaminovna Tsukerman. Irina, under the pseudonym "Katya", is the central figure in Life or Hearing, copies of which can be ordered via our web site. We also have a few copies of the original Russian text.
The proceedings of the 2012 conference on Deaf History, organised by the Deaf historian Viktor Palenny, which includes a contribution by Tania Davidenko, deputy director of the Zaitseva Centre, have been published by Gallaudet University Press under the title Telling Deaf Lives: Agents of Change. The book is edited by Kristin Snoddon and copies are available via Amazon. No copy has been received in Russia, so mbdsa is sending copies.