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.


How I became “inducted” into FRIENDS OF RICKI (FOR)!

I moved to California almost five months ago. During that time I have had many unexpected opportunities come my way. None more surprising than becoming involved with a social media group for the new RICKI LAKE SHOW.   It all started when Britt Michaelian, my 411 VOICES co-founder,  introduced me to a few tweeps via #FriendsofRicki.  She encouraged me to upload a video on to their FACEBOOK as they were looking for pitch ideas for the show.. So, I did.  You can view my initial video   here.

Before you knew it, I was being spotlighted as FRIEND OF THE WEEK.  And, that my friends started the ball rolling and my formal “induction” in to the FRIENDS OF RICKI (FOR) community!

This is what I do KNOW about being a FOR.  First, you get to come to see the tapings of the show as a VIP.  Cool right!  I even got to bring my mom! I also get to have a voice, through open pitch meetings, writing for the online Ricki Lake Show website and much more.  The women at 411 VOICES  have been very supportive of the Friends of Ricki social media efforts by giving much  of their TWITTER-LOVE and online support!

The best part of being  part of the FOR cadre are the friendships and connections you make.  From chatting with Ricki Lake, herself to meeting and dining with amazing folks via the Ricki Lake MeetUps (which are now available nationwide).  I believe that I may have made some friends “for life” thanks to TEAM RICKI!

Here is how you can become a FRIEND of RICKI, too!

On TWITTER simply tweet with the hashtag #friendsofricki

Go to the website for more connections THE RICKI LAKE SHOW WEBSITE


 Below are some photos from various events for FRIENDS OF RICKI..

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SPOTLIGHT OVATIONS – Empowering Kids Through the Performing Arts!

Tuesday, November 29th I will have the pleasure of interviewing on  the 411 VOICES Radio network show, ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT and the BUSINESS OF IT ALL!,  Sharla Mandere, who is the founder and director of  SPOTLIGHT  OVATIONS PERFORMING ARTS (SOPA).  

Sharla’s brainchild is a  performing arts group that is dedicated to helping empower children and instill confidence by providing various skill development classes for acting, circus training and dance.  She has an amazing story and I can’t wait for all to learn more about his dynamic woman!

Listen to the broadcast LIVE here on Nov. 29th at 11a.m. EST

Listen to the podcast here

Learn more about  SOPA and their San Diego based courses here or email Sharla at INFO@SpotlightOvations.com

Follow Sharla and SOPA here on TWITTER