A new initiative enables users to find deaf organizations and schools in 149 countries around the world. Launched by the Gallaudet University Center for International Programs and Services (CIPS) in October 2009, the World Deaf Information Resource Project provides contact information for hundreds of international-, national-, and local-level organizationsand schools globally. The website also links to on-line reports aboutthe human rights conditions and living situation of deaf people aroundthe world and other information resources for deaf individuals and organizations.
“Deaf people always benefit when deaf organizations, schools, and individuals are able to exchange ideas and information,” says Dr. Asiah Mason, director of CIPS. “But before organizations can communicate with each other, they need a way to find each other. The new World Deaf Information Resource Project lets them do that. It is our hope this can be a powerful information resource for the global deaf community.” In addition to browsing the website, users also may download most of the same information in either Word or PDF format. The file enables users to produce a 104-page hard copy document for dissemination to contacts who might not have Internet access. The new website can be accessed at http://cips.gallaudet.edu/wdi.xml. CIPS intends to continue expanding the website and file over time. People are invited to submit information about deaf organizations, schools, and deaf-related information resources not already included in the project to World.Deaf.Info@gallaudet.edu.
CIPS is a unit within the Gallaudet University College of Professional Studies and Outreach and is the university’s one-stop office for all things international. Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts university for deaf students in the world. Mason credits the website as being the brain-child of Dr. Amy Wilson, Director of Gallaudet University’s International Development program, and of Dr. Jay Innes, the Dean of CPSO. Andrea Shettle began the work of gathering information forthe website during an internship for the MA degree program in International Development at Gallaudet.