If you know me then you know it is sooo hard for me to keep a secret when it is good news! Well, I have been keeping a really fun secret that I finally get to divulge tomorrow during my radio show interview with Sherri Pellegren from MeeoMiia. ( A wonderful company that is mom and daughter owned and operated!)
During the show you will get to learn the story as to how and why Sherri and myself came up with a really groovy concept that will help to benefit children and families in the deaf community.
I will send out another email tomorrow before the show to tell you how you can not only LISTEN but be eligible for a random drawing of a very special gift! (One winner will be chosen, members of 411 VOICES or MeeoMiia not eligible. HINT- I am wearing the “secret” in the photo posted in this blog)
In 2006 I officially launched SigningFamilies.com. Since that time we added to the website and revised it several times. TODAY, I am proud to announce the official launch of SigningFamilies.com with a fresh and sleek new look! (And to match we changed our WORDPRESS theme, too!)
WHY? Over the years my focus has expanded. I use to be one of the many “baby sign language’ companies out there, although I took a more developmental psychology approach with our DVD and courses aimed at teaching language models. Of course, we also offered programs and products for people who wanted to learn the basics of sign language.
However, it became more and more important to me to provide quality information, workshops and affordable products to not only parents, but to many other groups, too!
First Responders, Community Responders (CERT), Law Enforcement and EMS (including Fire Departments). I totally admire the work of our emergency and disaster response providers and it is a privilege each and every time I speak to these brave and dedicated organizations. Thank you all.
Educators. I recognize that educators work in a variety of milieus- including as home educators / homeschool teachers. I appreciate that teachers are in need of affordable and accessible materials as they often need to shoulder the responsibility of purchasing classroom materials themselves. Therefore, I try to offer many items, such as YouTube videos, FREE and communication charts, inexpensively.
Community Organizations From hospitality management to those who are in the entertainment industry, it has been my pleasure to consult and provide resources. I especially have enjoyed educating people in our communities about how special populations often use sign language, as well. Many are surprised to find out that the Autism and Down Syndrome communities use sign language, too. Sign is not only for the Deaf!
KIDS! I have worked with thousands of children over the years. There is nothing like the joy and enthusiasm of a young child learning to sign for the first time!
What is NEW about SigningFamilies.com?!
To start, we have made it (we hope) easier to find content and specific information about workshops and products.
What is in your lunchbox today? I have started to take a real look at the food I have been eating and serving. I can’t eat the same foods I did when I was a much younger “me”. So, I am focusing on “real foods”. Ones that are as close to the original source as possible. That includes discovering new veggies (Brussell sprouts with balsamic vinegar grilled are yummy- who knew?) and fruits (I am loving apricots these days!) Plus adding at my doctors insistence dairy products .. including milk and yogurt. ( I never was much of a milk drinker, but I am learning to use it in smoothies and coffee.) And, although I prefer non-meat options I have been eating protein with meat and fish to help me be healthy and curb hunger!
Many families who follow SIGNING FAMILIES have asked me to post words in American Sign Language which are food related. So, here you go.. foods that help keep us healthy!
THESE BOLDED WORDS ARE DEPICTED IN OUR SLIDESHOW
EAT and FOOD
VEGETABLE : POTATO
FRUIT : APPLE, PEAR, PEACH, BANANA
DAIRY: CHEESE, MILK, YOGURT
NOTE: Due to unforseen circumstance the ASL Summer online camp has been cancelled. Look for an upcoming announcement for another option for learning ASL during the summer!
It seemed only appropriate that I honor Mom’s everywhere by sharing some of my favorite photos of Signing Familieskid models demonstrating signs for MOM/MOMMY/ MOTHER, LOVE/ I LOVE YOU and CARE/ CARING/ TAKE CARE.
When my children were young I use to sign them up for many different interactive and educational camps. I recall waiting on a long line to get a “slot” for the AMERICAN GIRL doll camp being offered through our local parks and recreation center. From sports to creative art camps my kids sampled them all. Most of the time they were fun and no complaints were heard.
It is because I think learning at any age should be FUN and INTERACTIVE that I am offering this summer via my company SIGNING FAMILIES an online LIVE sign language “camp”. This will be for kids and their families to learn the basics of sign language as an “online summer camp program”.
WHEN WILL IT BE OFFERED?
The online camp dates now available are the week of June 17th or the week of June 24th. If there is great interest then more online camp dates will be added.
The camp will be for one online hour per day for five consecutive days. It will be group instruction. Time TBD but most likely 1pmET, 11am PT
HOW WILL STUDENTS CONNECT?
All you would need to do is have the ability for video chat online. We will most likely use SKYPE or a comparable system such as GOOGLE HANGOUT.
HOW MANY STUDENTS PER SESSION?
The class will have up to 9 students involved which will make for great conversation and practice. Each student also will have an extra 60 minutes during the week for one on one questions and practice.
DO WE GET ANY MATERIALS?
In addition, each person who signs up will get our SIGNING FAMILIESASL FOLDER, ASL POSTERand one DVD from our catalog (either Baby, Toddler and Preschool Sign Language or Sign Language for Emergency Situations).
WHAT WILL THE ONLINE CAMP COVER?
* Basic greetings in ASL
* People an common places
* School words
* Alphabet and numbers
* Basic animals, transportation and action words
THE COST per STUDENT?
The total cost for the online camp AND the materials mentioned above is $79 ( EARLY BIRD special $69 if signed up by May 1, 2013)
HOW TO SIGN UP?
If you are interested in learning more about the camp or to sign up as an EARLY BIRD.. please comment below or connect via the FACEBOOK post, too.
HOW TO PAY
Once confirmed that you are signing up for a camp session you will be invoiced via PayPal.
A non-refundable down payment of $25 reserves your spot. Down payment must be received within one week of signing up. Payment in full will be required by June 1, 2013.
WILL YOU OFFER INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS FOR THOSE WHO WANT ANOTHER OPTION TO LEARN?
Yes, I offer 30 minute SKYPE sign language lessons or tutoring. The rates are $20 per session. No materials are included in this price. Adults and children may request individual sessions. I also welcome families with children who have special learning challenges and need adaptive sign language.
We are sorry that this offer is for US residents only.
Each year I receive many requests for photos and video using sign language for specific holidays. I create many videos on a variety of topics for ABCTEACH and often post on my FACBEOOK page. However, today I decided to post a few HALLOWEEN SIGNS here and via YouTube!
I had a Forest Gump week. You know the kind. When you don’t know what to expect but you are certain that your life will be like a ‘box of chocolates”. That is how my week went. It all started with a little video I posted on the FRIENDS OF RICKI Facebookpage. I was encouraged to do so by my friend, colleague and fellow co-founder of 411 VOICES, Britt Michaelian. Not long after the video uploaded I found out that I was in the running for FRIEND OF THE WEEK. (FOW)
What does FOW mean in terms of the RICKI LAKE SHOW. First, it is a woot! Great fun getting to know all the people involved in the show, their fans and of course for them to learn a bit about the FOW. However, in true Louise fashion, I wanted to make this experience a “teachable set of moments”. What can I share with this group of wonderful people that will be lesson. So, I decided to post throughout the week a series of videos that matched the daily themes. Others had posted videos, too. But, mine were in sign language.
On Monday, I posted a MY MOMENTS video about Daniella. She was a student from the back hills of Western Pennsylvania that made a lasting impression on me.
Tuesday, I had an opportunity to shine the spotlight on 411 VOICES and our unique story. How many of us met because of social-media, yet most have never met in person! Watch here!
Today (Friday) was my farewell video as FOW. You will need to view the video to understand why the RICKI LAKE SHOW staff snapped a photo waving a hello/ I LOVE YOU in ASL. Also, today was jammed packed due to the TWEETCHAT which was a rapid fire Q and A. My Q and A is below.. for more of the Twitter stream go here–> http://www.TWEETCHAT/ROOM/FRIENDSOFRICKI
All in all it was an excellent experience. I must say that I both was unprepared and overwhelmed by all the support and kudos. So grateful to the amazing staff of theRICKI LAKE SHOW and my “family” at 411 VOICES.
Thank you all. Enjoy the videos. Transcript of the tweetchat is below, by request from those who wanted to have access. Have a groovy week!
TWEETCHAT TRANSCRIPT – Posting this by request from those who couldn’t attend the TWEETCHAT but wanted to see what transpired.
Q1 Hi @LouiseASL We are thrilled to have you here! Tell us about YOU. #FriendsofRicki
A1a Hi @FriendsofRicki I am having such a good time in this community! #FriendsofRicki
A1b @FriendsofRicki I found this community via my friends from 411 VOICES #FriendsofRicki
A1c @FriendsofRicki I own Signing Families-> sign language + developmental psych melded together #FriendsofRicki
A1d @FriendsofRicki I help build communication bridges, special needs children, First Responders & more #FriendsofRicki
A1e @FriendsofRicki I am a mom of 2 grown kids. College student & a working actor! #FriendsofRicki
A1f @FriendsofRicki I’m married for nearly 25 years. He’s my best friend, makes me laugh #FriendsofRicki
Q2. @LouiseASL Tell us more! What are your hobbies and interests? #FriendsofRicki
A2a @FriendsofRicki Only ONE day 2 answer? I have many! #FriendsofRicki
A2b @FriendsofRicki I enjoy PHOTOGRAPHY (Im a novice but love it) #FriendsofRicki
A2c @FriendsofRicki I really love to TRAVEL! #FriendsofRicki
A2d @FriendsofRicki I also LOVE movies & watching vintage TV #FriendsofRicki
A2e @FriendsofRicki My daughter & I love INDIE films and have been to Sundance Film Festival! #FriendsofRicki
Q3 Describe to us your “Perfect Day” @LouiseASL #FriendsofRicki
A3a @FriendsofRicki Thanksgiving – family, friends around the dinner table laughing… #FriendsofRicki
A3b @FriendsofRicki Followed by Black Friday shopping at midnight! #FriendsofRicki
A3c @FriendsofRicki Love working with kids and families! #FriendsofRicki
A3d @FriendsofRicki Through SIGNING FAMILIES I get to help people on a weekly basis. REWARDING! #FriendsofRicki
Q4 @LouiseASL Tell us about the women’s media group #411Voices that you Co-Founded #FriendsofRicki
A4a @FriendsofRicki Social media brought us 2gether, we’re all invested in helping others #FriendsofRicki
A4b @FriendsofRicki We have really become more than colleagues, tight knit friendships #FriendsofRicki
A4c @FriendsofRicki Our #411VOICES speakers bureau rocks! #FriendsofRicki
A4d @FriendsofRicki We have many experts it our #411VOICES group. #FriendsofRicki
A4e @FriendsofRicki Experts from astrology – biz to education – family life. Empowering! #FriendsofRicki
A4f @FriendsofRicki Our site 411VOICES.com – is also multilingual #FriendsofRicki
A4g @FriendsofRicki French, Spanish, ASL- many of us in #411VOICES know multiple language #FriendsofRicki
Q5 @LouiseASL “You Have Cancer” – that must have been tough to hear two years ago? #FriendsofRicki
A5a @FriendsofRicki The clock stopped. Now my life is before cancer and after cancer BUT… #FriendsofRicki
A5b @FriendsofRicki Cancer does NOT define me. #FriendsofRicki
A5c @FriendsofRicki I now have an opportunity to educate others- why I made the PSA #FriendsofRicki
A5d @FriendsofRicki My desire to educate led me to making this PSA video http://ow.ly/bs4Mx #FriendsofRicki
Q6 @LouiseASL Tell us about your philanthropic endeavors #FriendsofRicki
A6a @FriendsofRicki My biz SIGNING FAMILIES donates many educational ASL materials #FriendsofRicki
A6b @FriendsofRicki Give free lessons to families and organizations yearly… #FriendsofRicki
A6c @FriendsofRicki My family also sponsors a college students ed yearly in memory of my Dad #FriendsofRicki
Q7 @LouiseASL You help First Responders and #EMS learn to sign – why? #FriendsofRicki
A7a- @FriendsofRicki Post 9/11 it was apparent that EMS was unprepared for much. #FriendsofRicki
A7b @FriendsofRicki Many EMS were unable 2 assist deaf & special needs communities #FriendsofRicki
A7c @FriendsofRicki EMS is now are taking courses in ASL & hoc to help special pops which is AMAZING!! #FriendsofRicki
A7d @FriendsofRicki I now travel nationwide training EMS & many other groups/ companies #FriendsofRicki
A7e @FriendsofRicki This work is VERY REWARDING! #FriendsofRicki
Q8 @LouiseASL How can we all learn more about you? #FriendsofRicki
A8a @FriendsofRicki I would love for you stop by my FB page http://ow.ly/brW17 #FriendsofRicki
A8b @FriendsofRicki You can learn more about my work here > http://ow.ly/brW4b #FriendsofRicki
A8c @FriendsofRicki And I would LOVE to have you stop in to #411Voice > http://ow.ly/brW82 #FriendsofRicki
April is Autism Awareness Month and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce all of you to a new joint venture between Debi Taylor,Spirit of Autism,and myself. Together we are trying to help educate and potentially save the lives of children with Autism. For a number of years I have trained emergency medical personnel on how to interact and communicate with children with special needs, many who use sign language. Debi, is a paramedic and the mother of a son with Autism. We are “Tweet pals” and have become fast friends and colleagues. Our mission is to help EMS and others be able to assist children and adults with Autism during medical emergencies or disasters.
If you are interested in learning more about our programs please connect here via SIGNING FAMILIES: INFO<at>SigningFamilies<dot>com
To be able to receive our two emergency cards below for the sweet price of $1.99 (US customers only receive free shipping), again send us an email: INFO<at>SigningFamilies<dot>com
For bulk rates for Schools/ PTOs, Hospitals and EMS organizations please also connect at the email above or via SigningFamilies.com
FINALLYthere is a new show on television which incorporates a deaf and hearing cast of teens and adults who perform a script that spotlights the wonderful deaf culture and American Sign Language. Many love the show. And, some are harsh critics. I love the show on so many levels as this seminole drama helps to increase awareness about deafness, ASL and so much more! Plus, it is just a fun weekly series to view! (What will become of Emmitt and Bay?)
I love that SWITCHED AT BIRTH is imperfect. The hearing cast members sign awkwardly as a novice signer often does. Many use their signs too literally and not conceptually – which is another rookie mistake that shows the authenticity of these newbie signers. In addition, the cultural lessons are exemplified throughout the various story arcs. This past week, Daphne (played by Katie LeClerc) joined her team at a championship game. Deaf families came from all over the country to see the basketball team play in solidarity and support of the deaf school that Daphne attends. Not THEIR local school but another region’s school. This is a very typical scenario within the deaf community and one that I am glad the director and writers highlighted. (For those who are interested in learning more about deaf culture and the importance that deaf schools has made on the deaf community please watch the brilliant THROUGH DEAF EYES available on PBS).
As I embark on going to Los Angeles as the newest member of THE LINICOMN AGENY, I only hope that our Exceptional Talent division will have an opportunity to shine a spotlight on many talented youth and adults who happen to have sensory or learning differences. If you are interested in learning more on how you can audition to become a member of THE LINICOMN AGENCY , please leave a comment here and I will connect back with you.
If you are interested in learning more about sign language go here–> SIGNING FAMILIES