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CEHHS Faculty Collaborate with Colleagues to Enhance Deaf Education in Morocco

Group photo in front of Claxton Complex

Members of Morocco Inclusive Education Teacher Training Activity, along with CEHHS faculty sign “America”

Group photo in front of Claxton Complex

Members of Morocco Inclusive Education Teacher Training Activity, along with CEHHS faculty sign “Morocco”

Last week, we welcomed nine visitors from Morocco to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS). The Moroccans are collaborating with Deaf Studies faculty members to implement a 4-year USAID Morocco project, titled Morocco Inclusive Education Teacher Training Activity (MITTA),  which is focused on strengthening the capacity of teachers of Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students in Morocco and the local Deaf community.

Four of the visitors were from a partner institution of higher education, University of Mohammed V, including the Dean, Vice-Dean, and two Professors of the Faculty of Education Sciences.  These faculty members are working to establish the first Deaf Education certificate program in the country. Two visitors were Board Directors of the Lalla Asmaa Foundation, which is a school for DHH students in Morocco that was sponsored by Princess of Morocco, Lalla Asmaa.

The group was additionally accompanied by the USAID Morocco Program Manager Specialist, the MITTA Chief of Party, an Arabic interpreter, and two sign language interpreters.  During their weeklong visit, the visitors attended various Deaf Studies courses, learned about the Deaf Studies programs and team, learned about Deaf Studies research happening at UTK and the Center on Deafness, visited local school programs with DHH students, and engaged in collaborative discussion and planning with Deaf Studies faculty members.

Read More About the MITTA Project!

April Haggard, Cheryl Shahan, Kimberly Wolbers, and David Smith have been participating as content experts on a USAID Morocco project subcontracted through DevTech, which is funded for the periods of August 2021 to July 2025.

UTK faculty members are working closely with the Moroccan Deaf community and local professionals through regular online meetings and in-person trips to Morocco. The team has made 3 trips to Morocco, with a 4 coming in May of this year. Specific work activities of UTK faculty members include:

  1. Development of a 45-hour course on Moroccan Sign Language (LSM) in conjunction with the Moroccan Deaf community, and training a group of eight Deaf native LSM users to teach the course to current and future teachers of DHH students and train future trainers.
  2. Development of an 8-hour, online training module for general education teachers with guidance for serving DHH students in the general education setting.
  3. Development of a 45-hour course on Bilingual Deaf Education (BDE), and training a group of master teachers of DHH students to teach the content to current and future educators.
  4. Collaboration with faculty members at the University of Mohammed V to develop and install a three-month BDE certificate program.
  5. Development and implementation of three assessment tools that measure trainer readiness (i.e., LSM Instructor observation tool, BDE instructor observation tool, pre/post module assessment).

You can see additional photos from the visit here.