I have this dream. That one day I will be flipping through my cable TV guide and there it will be … a list of TV channels 24/7 programming in American Sign Language. Each one with news being delivered in sign language, a full cast of deaf actors or signing characters in animation. These shows will have captions for the hearing, such as was the case in UNIVERSAL SIGNS. I yearn for daily signed content available to anyone to watch on their TV set.
I know that there are already front runners in this endeavor. Some cable networks have slots for deaf content and there is much online TV in sign language. I LOVE DeafTV.com and video channels such as D-PAN (Deaf Performing Arts Network). But, what I am campaigning for are channels equivalent to Telemundo or CCTV where live content streams all day, everyday!.
Why? Well, in the United States American Sign Language is the fourth most commonly used language. (Behind English, Spanish and Chinese). All of these languages and respective cultures are represented with a mainstream TV presence. Where are the ASL channels? The Deaf Community Channels? In addition, many excellent deaf actors seek employment but find this road much more challenging than their hearing counterparts due to limited roles or maybe even understanding. (The same can be true of others with unique challenges.)
So, bravo to ABCFamily and others who put shows with content that demonstrates the deaf culture, sign language and employs deaf actors! Now let’s see if we can expand to 24/7 deaf networks on public / cable TV. I know I am not alone with my dream.
Your respectful thoughts are welcome.
Natasha in a pic used for sign language photo cards for special education
I grew up in an area where there were lots of languages spoken. So, it is of no surprise that when my hubby and I had kids we decided to raise them in a home with several languages. And since I worked at the Delaware State School for the Deaf at the time of the birth of our first child , incorporating sign language in to our home was an obvious choice.
At first it was fun to introduce a variety of languages to our little mini-robot, eh daughter, Natasha. But, the value of having a signing home really came in to play when our son, Seth, was born prematurely and experienced serious speech delays. Years later we still use sign language in our home, school and places of work. Of course for me, merging my work as a psychologist with my love for sign language resulted in development of my company, SIGNING FAMILIES™.
I asked Natasha to film a bit about growing up in a bilingual home as part of the SIGNING FAMILIES™ Just the Basics and Just the Kids online sign language courses. Below is the video. (She has additional signing videos we will include as well in the series,too!) I especially like the part where she discusses sign language in respect to culture. I also was pleased to see that ABCFamily wrote that very aspect in to their most recent episode of Switched At Birth when one mom discussed with the other the importance of deaf culture in relation to ASL.
SIGNING FAMILIES™ has new products too. Believe it or not we have HEBREW– ASL – ENGLISH Bookmarks in stock now. Go here to learn more (Also available with Spanish-ASL-English)
I am trying out the new font from WORDPRESS..not sure if I like it or not…
And will you be joining me and countless others with the boycott against purchasing a single item that profits Casey Anthony?