The SignWiki initiative is hosted by the Communication Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SHH) in Iceland. Its roots lie in a Deaf education project carried out in Namibia from 2006-2010. The project was carried out in cooperation between the Ministry of Education in Namibia, The Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) and SHH.
This project made clear the lack of access to education and resources for deaf communities and the great need to support the development of sign languages in developing countries. It became apparent to us that sharing resources and expertise across boundaries was not only possible, but directly relevant.
Most western countries have expertise in Deaf education and many have developed on-line and mobile sign language dictionaries and resources for their own sign languages. However, only a few development initiatives have focused specifically on Deaf education in developing countries and more efforts are required to share resources and access to technologies.
The SignWiki is an effort to move forward on the basis of this understanding, and to utilize and share resources for Deaf Education across boundaries through communication technologies. We believe that the internet and mobile devices are ideal for Deaf communities and educators around the world to work together and share knowledge and resources to enable access to signlanguage and education for those most in need.
The SignWiki is project is lead by Valgerdur Stefansdottir and Dr. David Bjarnason.