Happy December! I know every year has 12 months, yet this year seemed to have gone by in a flash! I use to keep better track of the seasons, and time in general, during those “parenting years”. Back then I knew what month it was by which PTA project I volunteered to do. October was the Halloween parade, December was buying teacher holiday gifts, and so on. Now that my kids are grown and my status is that of having a “low occupancy home”, I realize that I must resort to keeping track of time the old fashioned way- by using the Calendar app on my ipad! Which explains why the alarm went off yesterday with a reminder that read: “WRITE ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG TODAY”.
I know myself too well, so I set another alarm and it went off today with a bit of attitude as the reminder message read – “YOU FORGOT TO WRITE YOUR ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG – DO IT NOW!!”
So here it goes… Nearly 4800 people have found our SIGNING FAMILIES Facebook page. I have used this social media page to help people to learn about sign language (ASL) and the deaf community. I also focused during the year on issues regarding Autism, Down Syndrome and education. Then I sprinkled a hefty dose of humor, inspiration and giveaways! We grew and grew with more than a thousand new friends joining us!
Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts was that of Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter. In an effort to improve awareness about sign language usage in the United Kingdom, Daniel was asked to pose with a simple sign that asked readers to learn how to sign GOOD MORNING. I found this article interesting and posted it, too. WOW – what a response! In fact, worldwide this campaign went “viral”. I was glad our little “hamlet” could participate.
As with every good company, we were busy adding products and also revamping our website to reflect the change in how people do business online. Our SIGNING FAMILIES website now offers online downloads for workshop attendees, more interactive elements and our newest product, the SIGN LANGUAGE EMERGENCY CHART in American Sign Language with captions in English, Spanish and Mandarin (simplified). Why did we create a quadra-lingual product? Simply, First Responders asked us to do so to help those with access and functional needs (AFN). Plain and simple.
This card has found its’ way in to thousands of emergency vehicles, uniforms and disaster response shelters nationwide. We were the most proud to have been able to donate many to our friends in Oklahoma, where I visited following the awful the series of tornadoes they experienced last May. I invite people who work as emergency personnel to email me if you wish to learn more and to receive a complimentary copy: Louise<at>Signing Families <dot> com.
It would be remiss of me to forget to mention that, it has been an honor to have met via workshops and conferences scores of our First Responders, including CERT / NERT members. These people bravely go towards disasters when most of us would flee. I hope that my disaster preparedness and response workshops gave food for thought to all who attended as I know you all taught me so much, too!
MeeoMiia came to us during 2013 to let us know that they were so inspired by our logo and wanted to use it as a basis for their newest LOVE necklace. We were thrilled! And, to celebrate we gave one as a giveaway to one of our subscribers!
It seems that wherever life takes me, including to events via OmgInsider or 411 VOICES, I find people who are willing to take a few moments and give some love – ASL style. I posted some of my favorites photos below for you to enjoy!
It is no secret that social media overload can happen to anyone. I am humbled that you found your way to this little ‘ol blog and read it to the end. Feel free to add your blog url below or to comment. Thank you and…