Tag: Deaf

Coming soon – ASL videos to learn signs for travel!

Travel Sign Language - coming soon

Each year Signing Families, the company I founded nearly a decade ago, adds new videos to our free online catalog available on YouTube.   This year we are creating more sign language videos dedicated to the topic of travel!  Learn signs for countries, ways to travel and more! 

This series of videos will be focused on helping novice and intermediate sign language learners acquire basic vocabulary. Also, intended for those in hospitality management who may wish to learn how to communicate with Deaf patrons.

In addition, we will add information about Deaf travel opportunities. (Did you know that there are specific tour companies dedicated to travel with Deaf clientele?)

If you have a Deaf owned travel company or any other suggestions about this series- please comment below!



First week of the ASL Challenge

Have you joined the SIGNING FAMILIES 31 DAYS ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube?!  Each day during the month of October 2014 –  I am uploading sign language videos for easy learning.

Here are this weeks signs and a video of #5 – FAMILY


In case you missed them here are the other signed videos from the first week of the ASL CHALLENGE!










Will you accept the ASL CHALLENGE?

Starting tomorrow, October 1st,  I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on  YouTube.     It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language.   The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency.  Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too!  So many reason to learn!

Where to start?

First, set aside up to five minutes a day to learn some basic sign language and practice! If you subscribe to my Youtube channel you will receive reminders every time a new video is uploaded.  Secondly, if you are so inclined, please share these one minute videos with others. And lastly,  enjoy the journey of learning this visual language.

Learn more on FACEBOOK, SIGNING FAMILIES and of course, on my TWITTER stream.



The Secret Revealed! Thanks MeeoMiia

UPDATE:  This contest is now CLOSED. The winner has been notified and we congratulate Debra Leavitt Jorgensen for winning the Meeo Miia ILY charm necklace!  (Selection was made via Random.org)


Yesterday, I posted a blog telling you that Meeo Miia and I worked on a concept which we would divulge tonight on the LOUISE SATTLER SHOW via Blog Talk Radio.  So, tonight we will!  LISTEN HERE

But, because we want to entice you to listen and participate in our #giveaway we will give you an early peek in to our secret…

HUGE thanks to Sherri Pellegren, owner of Meeo Miia –  for designing a beautiful  necklace based on the SIGNING FAMILIES  logo and embellished with loads of  I LOVE YOU – art .  The logo which was created many years ago for SIGNING FAMILIES by artist, Pat Roby, will be available for purchase on the MeeoMiia website. .





CONTEST RULES for a prize provided by Meeo Miia and worth $85 (with a portion of the proceeds going to a deaf  school / association which supports deaf children and families)

Must enter on the day of the LIVE radio show- August 4, 2013

Must  reside in the United States and not affiliated with 411 VOICES or Meeo Miia

One winner will be chosen who complies to the following criteria….

 TO ENTER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN YOU MUST DO ONE OR BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING (which enhances your chances to win, if you do both)


    I just entered a contest by  @MeeoMiia 4 their new #ASL  Necklace  #MeeoMiiaLovesASL via Louise Sattler SHOW on BTR #411VOICES

   OR  via  FACEBOOK go to SIGNING FAMILIES  and comment under the announcement using #MeeoMiiaLovesASL 


To see the reveal scroll to the bottom of this blog post. 






keep going!




photo 4

photo 2

I got a secret….

photo 1

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)

Thinking of the deaf community, we are THRILLED to have this show sponsored by Keith Wann of Check Your Rights / ASL LegalShield

Our newest second sponsor is THE BOYS STORE owned by Suzanne Remington!

Links to connect:

Listen to LIVE or as a download to the LOUISE SATTLER SHOW ,  Sunday nights 9pET, 6pPT

Connect with Sherri via Meeo Miia on FACEBOOK,  TWITTER and the website

Connect with 411 VOICES on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and via our website

Hear prior shows via our website,  Blog Talk network or iTunes!

Disaster Preparedness: Helping People with Access and Functional Needs (Video included)

Disaster preparedness for people with access and functional needs is what I am hugely dedicated to providing to First Responders, including EMS, CERT members, Firefighters and Law Enforcement.  AFter numerous years of  providing training to those in emergency management and others, I decided to make a simple video to continue their learning. I now share it with all of you.

Read more   about my focus on disaster preparedness to help people with challenges, such as Autism or Deafness.

For more information about the chart below click here.


Emergency Communication Chart -ASL- ENGLISH- SPANISH and soon with Mandarin Chinese

Emergency Communication Chart -ASL- ENGLISH- SPANISH and soon with Mandarin Chinese

Welcome to the NEWLY UPDATED SigningFamilies.com




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.

We also added new features such as information about Deaf Dogs and Deaf Dog Adoptions.   Our video and photo gallery sections will be enhanced in weeks and months to come – so check back frequently to take advantage of learning ASL with our short videos.

Soon we will have regular features from USTREAM on our website.  To keep the sign language learning flowing!

Want Sign Language Tutoring? Check out our SKYPE tutoring option!

And.. we added a CONTACT FORM so you can let us know what you wish to see on SigningFamilies.com.

None of this would have been possible without the help of my hubby and webmaster, Marc and our friends at Weiss Business Solutions.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So, please go ahead and explore SigningFamilies.com  

Let us know if there is content you wish to have us add.

Happy Signing!

DISASTER SAFETY INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS – 2015 updated post with additional safety resources

Update: Sadly tornado “season” has been wicked during 2015, therefore I am re – blogging this post that originally posted in 2013. At the bottom of this post are additional safety resources including for earthquake, flood, hurricane, tsunami and wildfire preparedness.

I could not fathom what must have happened here to make a truck flip and be impaled on these trees.

Today there have been a series of tragic tornadoes that have ripped through the heartland of America causing severe devastation, including loss of life.  Some of the families impacted who have been impacted have family members with special needs.

In an effort to help families and communities who may have some unique challenges during disasters here is some information:


Be prepared.  Alert your local fire department if you have a family member with special needs of any kind, such as physical, sensory, cognitive or other.  Included would be family members with dementia, Alzheimer’s or medical problems.

Have a family plan for sheltering in place and evacuation.

Be sure to have an emergency kit in your home and car.  To know what should be in your emergency kit go to the RED CROSS Disaster Information page.   Don’t forget to add to your kit personal effects, such as your insurance information, copies of marriage and birth certificates and photos of your family members.

For families with children, especially with special needs, have a quick “grab and go” kit of favorite items and things you know will comfort your child during a time of distress.  Stuffed animals, battery operated video games, and books or drawing pads all are good things to bring along. So, be prepared in advance with this GRAB AND GO KIT.

Let others know your plans if you need to evacuate. Where you intend to go and how you will try to check in.


Many agencies including FEMA and the RED CROSS offer much information, including for for families with special populations.

GENERAL ASSISTANCE, including Access and Functional Needs Information:

 RED CROSS disaster safety checklist in multiple languges



Spirit of Autism

Autism Speaks



DEAFinc VIDEOS  (including the one below)

Other Disaster Preparation Resources

Earthquake Country Alliance 

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill registration 

Hurricane Preparedness 


Ready.gov for many disaster preparedness resources, including Floods and Fires



The Cochlear Implant and Sign Language – One Mom’s Viewpoint

Louise’s note:  I have long been an advocate for all deaf people to know sign language, even as a “back up” when they are the recipient of the cochlear implant. Christy Garrett is a mom and a follower of the SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK page. She asked if she could post this blog as a guest.  I gladly obliged.


Sign Language is a Useful Tool for Cochlear Implant Recipient’s

 by Guest Blogger, Christy Garrett

As a young mom, it was very overwhelming to discover that my daughter was born with a severe to profound hearing loss.  She seemed so perfect.  However, when she was a month old it seemed like she was responding to typical household noises but after multiple hearing tests the doctors confirmed that she was deaf.  This news crushed my heart and I began to blame myself for her imperfection.  Then I realized that she was born deaf for a reason.

She began learning American Sign Language around 9 or 10 months old.   A speech therapist would come to our house from the Early Intervention Services, a program that is designed to help families who have children with special needs.  They provide services free of charge and help find care that they can’t provide for children ages birth to three years old.  Also, the Early Intervention Team can refer to the local school district your child  who may continue to receive services within a school environment.

Early intervention specialists began teaching my daughter sign language using play therapy.    She was able to learn basic sign language for common words such as apple, shoe, mom, dad, and more.  I remember the first time that she finally signed back to us, that day was a huge milestone as she was finally able to starting to learn how to communicate!

At the age of 3, I decided that she should have the opportunity to receive a cochlear implant so, that she could communicate orally with her baby brother that was on the way.  When she received her cochlear implant, the speech therapist and doctors recommended that we drop the sign language all together.  They felt that if she relied on sign language that she wouldn’t take interest in learning how to hear and learn to talk.  However, the opposite happened.

Sign language has been a great tool and has benefited her more than I think the doctors and speech therapist realized.  She is now considered bilingual and is fluent in two languages.

However, her knowing sign language has been useful on more than one occasion when something on her cochlear implant has failed or she is having a hard time understanding.
I can count on my hands how many times over the years that her implant was damaged or broken and had to be returned.  Sometimes it would take a week or more to get it back, without her cochlear implant she was deaf.  Sign language allowed her to continue learning without skipping a beat.

Technology is great but it isn’t perfect.  She was born deaf and having a cochlear implant has allowed her to join the hearing world; however, it doesn’t change the fact that without the device she is still deaf.  So in certain situations her implant has no use:

  • showering/bathing
  • swimming
  • some sports
  • loud background noise
  • her batteries die and she doesn’t have spare ones with her
  • cochlear implant isn’t functioning properly

I asked my daughter what she would recommend for a parent who is contemplating on teaching their child sign language and they have a cochlear implant.  She is 16 years old now and didn’t have a say in the decision that I made when she was younger.  However, now she is able to share her opinion and is able to help others.

She said, that knowing sign language has allowed her to learn more vocabulary words and improve her word knowledge.”

Christy Garret, is a wife to her loving husband of 4 years and a mother to three beautiful children – Ages 15, 12, and 18 months old. I am the owner and founder of Uplifting Famiiles. In my spare time, I enjoy blogging, spending time with my family, going to church, and playing games. I can be found on twitter at @upliftingfam

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
%d bloggers like this: