Tag: RED CROSS

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red-cross

A teen with a rare blood type receives a transfusion. A shelter is opened for families who lost everything in a tornado. A parent learns CPR before the birth of their baby.  An earthquake hits Nepal a few years after another has devastated Japan. What do all of these scenarios have in common? The Red Cross .

I have seen firsthand the work of the Red Cross.  It was during Hurricane Agnes while I was living in a small town in Western New York. One day we had a beautiful village with several schools and a hospital. The day Agnes stalled over our village we were left with only half of the schools and lost much of the hospital as it collapsed in to the Genessee River. Who came to help those who watched their life savings float away? The local chapter of the Red Cross. As a young “tween” I was in awe as the dedicated volunteers assisted those who were displaced and in need of items that usually we take for granted – such as drinking water.

Photo credit: regionalnewsnetwork.blogspot.com

Jones Memorial Hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Agnes.Photo credit: regionalnewsnetwork.blogspot.com

Related story: Red Cross- How they respond to disasters

Fast forward to just a couple of years ago when raging tornados tore apart areas surrounding Oklahoma City. Ironically, I was scheduled to speak in that area on disaster preparedness, but instead found myself in the center of a response and relief effort. Again, the Red Cross played a huge role in the helping families almost instanteounsly after the tornado dust had cleared. What many don’t know is that people who come in to shelters are out of their element and find it extremely challenging.  Much more is the case when the family is not English speaking, Deaf or has a family member with disabilities or challenges, such as Autism. Bravo to the Red Cross and other groups who provide assistance for recognizing the need for training their staff, including volunteers, to help people with access and functional needs.

Read about the Red Cross response in Oklahoma

Now let’s play a round of RED CROSS TRIVIA?

(Yes, I just made that up) 

♦ Did you know that the Red Cross has pre-made disaster preparedness kits that are available online or via retail stores such as Target? The reason is to make it easy for families to be prepared with the correct items needed for most disasters.

♦ Did you know that the Red Cross has created an app known as Safe and Well to let you alert and notify your families after a disaster, such as an earthquake or tornado, that you are OK and where you are located?

♦ Did you know that the Red Cross is made up of over 90% volunteers?

♦ Did you know that  the Red Cross responded to over 140 large disasters and thousands of smaller ones in the United States during 2013 alone?

♦ Did you know that your donation(s) is what helps sustain the Red Cross?

Related story: The international services the Red Cross provide

Time to Give Back!

Now it is time to give back and acknowledge the amazing work of the Red Cross during a very special cross-cultural event being held in Culver City the week of October 26, 2015 – The Asian World Film Festival. This melding of film and philanthropy is the culminatation of months of preparation. On November 1st a special event will be the  Global Change Gala being held  in Culver City. There internationally renowned actor and musician Miyavi, who hails  from Japan – will be one of the three honorees and performers of the evening dedicated to spotlighting the global works of the Red Cross.

Miyavi_Album

Miyavi will be performing at the Asian World Film Festival Global Change Gala on November 1st

Learn how to get tickets and about the festival with this link.

In addition there has been a very special online auction with many one- of – a kind experiences being offered. Dine at favorite restaurants such as Spago or Nabu. Click FIJI off your bucket list of “must sees”. Or perhaps journey to Napa Valley and be treated to the best accomodatons and fine wines the region has to offer. There is something for most on this auction site set up by Charity Buzz. Bids are now open and rules are on the auction page.

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To participate in the auction (and grab yourself or family member a fabulous gift) – click here

Let’s get social with the Red Cross and the Asian World Film Festival

Follow the Red Cross and Asian World Film Festival endeavors with these social media links:

@AsianWorldFilmFest

@RedCross

#GlobalChangeGala

@MIYAVI_Official

#AsianWorldFF

and of course you can follow me as @LouiseASL

A Top 10 list that can save lives!

Computer generated image with text TOP 10

A TOP 10 list that can save lives! I hope that you decided to read past the title because you are a fan of David Letterman’s famous TOP 10 lists.  All kidding aside, I really am hoping that I piqued your interest because you are curious about the last part of the title – “save lives”

It is no secret that much of what as I do in media is examine topics related to communication, education, and safety.  I often have penned blogs spotlighting disaster preparedness and response, often citing personal experiences. In fact, earlier this week I re-posted an article giving general resources to help families in the event of a disaster.  I had written that article shortly after visiting many areas in Oklahoma – from cities to rural areas – that were devastated following a series of tornadoes in 2013.

Read My tour of Moore, Oklahoma

In addition, I have been involved with several specific media campaigns that focus on helping families and schools to be prepared for disasters, including earthquakes.  Currently, I am a member of a social media team that supports ShakeOut – the world’s largest earthquake drill.  ShakeOut is much more than a practice drill as it entails an  interactive educational component that is dedicated to increasing awareness about how to prepare for earthquakes. ShakeOut spotlights teaching how people should  DROP – COVER and HOLD ON when an earthquake happens. At first, this three-step protocol surprised me! I thought if an earthquake happened I should run to a doorway and stand.  I also recalled believing that it would be best to run outside away from buildings. (I am fairly certain I am not alone in assuming this was the correct procedure and am glad that I have been corrected in my thinking!)  But, thanks to  ShakeOut and their considerable due diligence of garnering information from rescue teams, there is much available information and instruction on the best practices for earthquake safety.

Why shouldn’t we run to door jams or outside during an earthquake? 

Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protocol to protect lives during earthquakes: 

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and 
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.

Read more about DROP – COVER and HOLD ON!, including what to do if you are not able to take cover, are in a wheelchair or other special circumstances. (For me, it was interesting to learn what to do if in a stadium during a sporting event!) 

Recommended Earthquake Actionsdropcoverholdon_re copy

Special Note: Mark your calendars for the 2015 ShakeOut drill: October 15th at 10:15 a.m. 

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I have spent considerable time perusing the ShakeOut site and I came across some great features that I thought would be of interest to families, homeschooler and educators.  Here is my list of the ShakeOut “Top 10”!

#10- REGISTER  your family, business, school, organization or individuals for the ShakeOut drill via this LINK.  When you are all finished with the very fast registration process let others know by clicking the social media platform share buttons.

Note: Fans of social media don’t miss the weekly Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety  chats by following on Twitter @ShakeOut

#9- Play BEAT THE QUAKE – a game that uses loads of action and interesting questions to spark the interest of any child or adults who are kids at heart.

Go to ShakeOut.org and find the Beat the Quake link on the right column

#8- What’s in your disaster kit?

Do you have a disaster preparedness kit?  Does it include all the essentials that are recommended by disaster preparedness specialists, such as the Red Cross and Earthquake Country Alliance.  

List of supplies for your earthquake disaster kit. 

Don’t forget to add the whistle!

#7. Let others know you are safe!

An app made available by the Red Cross allows you to communicate to loved ones that you are safe or in need of assistance during the “after” stage of an earthquake.  (Note: Similar apps also are available for other disasters such as Hurricane or Tornados)  Click here for information about the Red Cross App. (The image below also will take you to the Safe and Well Website.)

Red Cross

#6. Materials for Schools/ Educators  .  Teachers don’t miss this opportunity for a  “learning moment” contrasting the reality of actual earthquakes with the fiction presented in the 2015 Summer movie San Andreas. While entertaining, San Andreas was largely a fictionalized version of the “real deal”.  To highlight the salient facts, the Earthquake Country Alliance has made available this movie parody and supplemental materials that clearly explain the fact vs. fiction about earthquakes in a child – friendly and  entertaining manner! Both the image and this link will take you to the movie!

Seven_Steps_To_Earthquake_Movie_Safety

#5. Materials to help businesses owners  prepare and learn what to do if an earthquake happens (including in the recovery phase). Note: Don’t miss the Seven Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business

#4. Key Earthquake Safety Tips for People with Disabilities and Other Access or Functional Needs (Regular readers of this blog will know that this is a subject near and dear to my heart)  Read these materials and much more here

Previous blog: Disaster Safety Tips for Families with Special Needs 

#3. In fact, there are so many other resources that I would need to make a Top 20 list! Note: the resources are downloadable and are visually very attractive for posting. Consider laminating if you work or live with young children.

Go to resource page

#2. Don’t speak English? No worries. The ShakeOut site is also in Spanish.

Drum Roll…

#1: Share YOUR ShakeOut with a photo or story!

Here is link to upload your story or picture! How fun is this feature?!

But wait there is a bonus to the Top 10 list!

Want to follow some fun social media posts? Simply track the hashtags #ShakeOut and #DropCoverHoldOn. You never know which friends of Where Learning Meets Laughter will be posting!  Feel free to tag me in your post as @LouiseASL (Twitter) or @LouiseMasinSattler (Instagram).

AND…I just uploaded the FAMILY and SCHOOL DISASTER RESOURCE PAGE on this blog. Please add to the comment section any additional resources you feel would be helpful within our communities to keep all safe!

Dropping popcorn in striped classic package.

In closing, it is now time for popcorn as here is a great video clip to watch and share with others!

Oklahoma – Rebuilding After Disaster

Chickasaw Nation is part of the rich history of central Oklahoma

Chickasaw Nation is part of the rich history of central Oklahoma

I HEART OKLAHOMA– in a really big way! The nicest people live in a state which sustained some of the worst tragedy at the hands of “Mother Nature”.   I first visited Oklahoma this past June, three weeks after the cities of Moore and Norman were devastated by  EF5 tornados.  I couldn’t believe what I saw then.  It took my breath away to see so much in ruin. So many hearts broken.  I was able to help meet with many at a conference during June and many of us  talked for hours about where one can start with the healing process when your community is shaken.  I know I left Oklahoma with much more than I brought with me. Which is why I was so pleased to have an opportunity this past week to return to beloved Oklahoma at the request of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.   This time we discussed how to plan and prepare for any future disasters.  From individuals to school teachers to bus drivers and to vocational and rehabilitation employees. Yes, it takes a village to keep our communities safe. When I presented yesterday to this amazing group of teachers, counselors, bus drivers and many others at OSD, I learned that despite having repeated disasters  – their communities are not as prepared as they need to be.  No shelter in place plans or preparations for many.  No course of action for bus drivers on what to do during a major disaster or emergency with people who have special needs or deafness.  No evacuation discussions with local emergency or First Responders to assist those with unique challenges, such as individuals in wheelchairs or who are Autistic.  Not much of anything.  These findings  shocked the audience, but didn’t surprise me as Save the Children has Oklahoma (and many more states) listed as failing to have plans in place for disasters when it comes to serving  families and those with disabilities.  Sad. The participants left the session with some information, many with heavy hearts and I hope a “call for change”.   I recognized the resiliency in their spirit. I had seen it before on the faces of many I had known go through the tragedy.  I also know that there is physical and emotional healing occurring daily for them.  I saw the physical when I drove back through Moore, Oklahoma and snapped photos in the very places I had been four months ago.  Emotionally, people seemed less ‘raw’ and more able to seek help and make changes.

This is what I shared during the workshop that I hope will be of value to YOU, so no matter where you live you will be prepared in the event of a disaster.

1- We learn how to help each other and be prepared with each and every disaster. Which is why RedCross.org ,  FEMA.org and many other sites now offer disaster templates and information for families, organizations and schools.

2- If you have a loved one who has special needs, please be sure to add to your readiness kits what they need. Including sweatshirts to block out sounds, sunglasses to make odd visual stimuli easier, mp3 player with ear phones, games, medicines and comfort objects. Be prepared for ALL in your family. Including FIDO who may need to come with you to a shelter.  Have copies of your information on a flashdrive and hard copies made on your person.  Include phone numbers of physicians, insurance agents, relatives and others.  BRING FAMILY PHOTOS in case you are separated to help with reunification. 3- Don’t think it can’t happen to you.  Disaster can happy any time, any place, to any person. 4.-  I’ll do it tomorrow.  This excuse won’t be good enough when the earthquake, tornado or act of terrorism happens tonight. 5-  IDENTIFICATION is essential.  Be sure to have proper ID on yourself and consider using ICE in your phone and on person- ID such as MediPal for those who cannot or are unable to communicate. 6- Ask for help after a disaster.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can impact anyone after a disaster.  You don’t need to be the direct victim of an event to have PTSD. Seek help if you feel pervasively sad, can’t sleep or eat as usual,  or a sense of doom that just won’t go away. 7- Be willing to help others.  Be part of the solution. Be part of your local disaster plan. 8- PRACTICE your plan for evacuation and how to shelter in place BEFORE a disaster.  SHAKEOUT.org is getting ready for a whole country earthquake practice drill. Below you will see photos taken last June 2013 and this last week from Moore, Oklahoma. Thank you for reading.

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When the Earth Shakes and Spins! How to be prepared for Earthquakes and Tornadoes!

source: Wikipedia

source: Wikkipedia

If a hurricane hit your home today would have an evacuation plan? If you awoke in the middle of the night to the earth trembling and your home shaking violently- would you know what to do? Green skies are often the first warning of a tornado coming – where should you go?  Dangerous chemicals were let in to the air following a train derailment near your home – would you know what to do and where to get credible information for either evacuation or sheltering in place?

It has been my privilege to work with disaster specialists throughout the United States. They work tirelessly on all of our behalf.

Therefore, in the interest of public safety I will be posting as series of articles about how to PREPARE for potential disasters AND also offer resources for you to learn more.

To start I would like to discuss two very REAL threats to our personal and property safety-  earthquakes  and tornadoes.

EARTHQUAKE PREPARATION

 You may think that earthquakes are only on the west coast of the United States or in remote mountain regions of Asia.  But, that simply is false. Earthquakes happen in almost every state in the US and throughout the world, from the islands of Japan to the mountains of China.  In fact, earthquakes can occur anytime, anywhere. Just ask the people of Washington DC who experienced a good size earthquake of a magnitude of 5.8  in 2011 (The epicenter was in Virginia).

Click here to find your area and see if you are in a location of where more than one million registered earthquakes occurred this year. (Approximately 13,000 were a 4.0 magnitude or higher).  States with the most earthquakes? Alaska and California  have the most (no surprise) but you may not have thought of Utah as a top earthquake location?

So how can you prepare for an earthquake?

 What to do during an earthquake?  We use to think that standing in a doorway was the best idea. NOPE.  What about running outside? Not the “A” answer, either. According to the United States Geological Service (USGS) the best idea is to DROP, ROLL UNDER something STURDY and HOLD ON! (View demo video here)

This new safety information is so important that an effort known as the SHAKE OUT will be conducted this coming Fall.  What is SHAKE OUT? Simply it is a designated date and time where as many US and Canadian citizens participate in a  mock “earthquake drill”.  The SHAKE OUT drill will be on October 17th at 10:17 in the morning. (Interesting piece of trivia – October 17th is the anniversary date of the Oakland earthquake of 1989)  To register your family or business for the drill or learn more click here. 

Also relevant and related to earthquake safety is to learn about tsunamis. A tsunami is a wall of water that is created following an earthquake, meteor or other disruption to the ocean.  A devastating tsunami hit Japan in 2011 and resulted in mass casualty and loss of property.  (Read about recovery efforts here )

What to do if there is a tsunami?

 Many coastal areas in the United States now have tsunami warning systems.

However, the most important thing to know about a tsunami is to prepare in advance as where you can that is safe, elevated and within fifteen minutes of your home. This packet of information was very helpful to understand tsunamis and be prepared:  Tsunami Preparedness by NOAA

TORNADO PREPARATION

Tornadoes are a real and present threat to life and property.  Like an earthquake, tornadoes can strike anywhere at any time. We only need to read the headlines of recent events to see how a tornado touching down for a few minutes can cause profound heartbreak.  Moore, Oklahoma now joins the ranks of other towns, such as Joplin, Missouri, Granbury, Texas,  as a place where  giant tornadoes have  pummeled through communities, schools and farmland.

How to prepare for a tornado?

What are considered the “best practices” if you know that you are in an area experiencing a tornado watch or warning?  First, recognize the “signs” that a tornado is coming.

  • GREEN SKIES
  • DARKENING SKIES
  • HAIL
  • LOUD NOISE, described by some like a “freight train”
  • WARNING SIRENS or ALERTS RECEIVED

What should you do if you know a tornado is a true threat?

Take shelter immediately! Go to a basement, storm cellar, interior room or closet. Stay away from windows. Try to shield yourself from potential flying debris by having something over you. Be sure to have a cell phone (if possible), flashlight and battery operated radio with you.  Here is more information about planning and safety from the CDC

http://www.rvspca.org/health-behavior/disaster-preparedness

http://www.rvspca.org/health-behavior/disaster-preparedness

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FOR FAMILY PETS

Again, let planning be your friend. The Humane Society published these guidelines for pet owners.

You also can read more from the SPCA by clicking on the photo above or this link.

What if your family member has special considerations, such as uses a wheelchair, has Autism or lives with Alzheimer’s? 

There are many websites and videos (open and/or closed captioned for those with hearing loss) that can be of great assistance and a wealth of information . There are many sites to review, but these are some of my favorites.

RED CROSS 

READY.GOV

EMSC NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER

DEAFInc.com

SAVE THE CHILDREN

LASTLY… 

What information can I share with my family that is “child friendly”

I really liked this website (in addition to the child resources from the sites mentioned above)

USGS KID INFO (including science fair project ideas)

In the next post we will discuss safety and preparation for Hurricane Season.   Please feel free to share YOUR disaster preparation safety information below. Thank you

 Stay safe everyone!

~Louise

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Louise Satter is a Psychologist who  created the SIGN LANGUAGE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS Series – ASL, ENGLISH and SPANISH.  Read more about how to connect with Louise for speaking engagements, including the DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS PROGRAM (including sign language) and other programs related to safety and the well-being of children and adults with exceptional needs.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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:

BEFORE A DISASTER

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.

WHAT TO DO IF DISASTER STRIKES

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

DISASTER ASSISTANCE by FEMA 

ASSISTANCE FOR THE AUTISM COMMUNITY:

Spirit of Autism

Autism Speaks

ASL / SIGN LANGUAGE RESOURCES FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS for the DEAF

SIGNING FAMILIES

DEAFinc VIDEOS  (including the one below)

Other Disaster Preparation Resources

Earthquake Country Alliance 

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill registration 

Hurricane Preparedness 

TsunamiZone

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

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IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL RESOURCES PLEASE SHARE BELOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION

Post 9/11 – Lessons Learned by First Responders and Myself in Helping Special Populations

It is almost the anniversary of one of the saddest days in American history. A day when time seemed to have stood still. When the morning started as a day so crisp and clear it was almost too good to be true, yet ended full of darkness. And, the day which I asked myself over and over again…How are First Responders helping people who can’t hear, speak English, or are non-verbal -such as in the case of Autism?

Much has been written about 9/11 except for stories of what happened to those who couldn’t easily communicate with First Responders.  A few films were made. Some tangential interviews. Yet, not much was made public about how First Responders communicated ten years ago and how they would, if need be, interact, react and communicate today.  A recent publication  by  SAVEtheCHILDREN.org indicated that many states continue to be without viable plans in place to help special populations, especially children during disasters. I was astonished as from my own personal experience I would have suspected the opposite findings!

Since 2001, I have had the privilege of talking to thousands of First Responder.  Most who were intrigued and accepting of the idea that learning sign language (the fourth most common language in the United States) should be a priority for all EMS, Firefighters and Law Enforcement staff.  Thousands have  now sat in my SIGN LANGUAGE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS workshops to hear about techniques to use during a disaster or medical incident to help a child with Autism, Down Syndrome, or Deafness. The participants have taught me as much as I have shared with them.  So while I believe that there is room for improvement, I am certain that progress has been made throughout many regions in the United States including making September Disaster Preparedness Month.

Perhaps many, including myself, have learned these lessons…

1. Communication is key during a disaster or medical emergency.  The first ten minutes are crucial. No one is asking to replace an interpreter or translator, but during exceptional circumstances, such as those of 9/11 or recent hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes – safety and help is tantamount.  

2.  To facilitate communication and help a child who has learning and/or  developmental challenges, use people in their surrounding area who many be of assistance to help with interaction between the non-verbal / English speaker and yourself.

3. Gestures can come in handy, although be careful, some gestures may be considered obscene by some cultures.

4. Helping children is not the same as helping adults. They will react differently. Children with Autism may drop and rock, scream, lash out (in fear) and/or flee. The latter is the most dangerous as some new information shows that children who flee often will go to water, thus a child may seek out a pool or pond during a disaster.

5. The first ten minutes of any disaster or medical incident is key. Knowing ten  signs (ASL), words in Spanish/ Chinese/ French/ Vietnamese (among others)  can save help to evacuate people to safety, find a child, or save a life.

In order to make safety an inclusive priority I have added some resource links below.  My biggest wish – we never need to use them as that would mean another disaster or medical crisis has occurred.

RESOURCES

FIRST RESPONDERS TV – Deaf and Special Populations Video

EMS Educast-  Helping deaf populations

Inclusion – Help for Disaster Preparedness

Autism Society

FEMA

DEAF Inc. Disaster Videos

Spirit of Autism by Debi Taylor.  Paramedic, mother of a child with Autism

SLINKY- yes, you read it right.  One SLINKY can help to transition a child who is fearful or non-verbal from place to place. Children with significant Autism may become engrossed in the shiny and round aspects of this non-personal object and be more willing to go with a First Responder/

Sign Language for Emergencies Mini-Chart

HELP SIGNING FAMILIES™ TO HELP OTHERS LEARN ASL- THROUGH START UP NATION 2011!

SIGNING FAMILIES

START UP NATION 2011 MOM ENTREPRENEUR COMPETITION!

PLEASE VOTE DAILY HEREhttp://bit.ly/eDy1Jg (simply pick daily reminder)

I has been a really long time since I “campaigned” for any competition. I think my last run for an office was in the seventh grade. I lost- badly. This time I am hoping to compete in something a little bit more hefty than my Jr. HS student council race. I am hoping to have my company, SIGNING FAMILIES™ recognized as one of the Start Up Nation 2011 best mom owned businesses. While it would be terrific to win- it would be even more wonderful to receive exposure for American Sign Language as a beneficial mode of communication for not only the deaf community but those who are within perhaps the Autism, Down Syndrome and Speech Impaired communities ( to name a few).

To date SIGNING FAMILIES™ has donated thousands of dollars of product and instructional workshops to people within the special needs community who could not afford to attend ASL classes or purchase materialsfor their classrooms or homes. We also have taught up close and personal- scores of educators, families, medical personnel and First Responders nationwide. Our DVD- Sign Language for Emergency Situations in ASL, English and Spanish has been heralded as a one of a kind DVD to meet the ASL and Spanish communities needs for fast communication during a natural or manmade disaster.

Our BABY, TODDLER and PRESCHOOL Sign Language DVD was designed to meet the needs of people who want to learn how to promote or augment communication with children by using sign language. It recently won the KIDLUTIONS Preferred Product Award and was represented at Mac World for KIDS 2011.

Here is what we are working on now-

Create a large pocket folder with signs for basic communication on the front and emergency/medical signs onthe back. This folder was requested by people within both the medical and educational communities. We heard the requests and are now in production. Available May 2011.

– In order to help promote literacy among deaf children and foster friendships between children who are hearingand those who are deaf we are creating multiple bookmarks. Our first two focus on school words and social-emotional development words with ASL, English and Spanish. The third will substitute Hebrew for Spanish.  (Have an idea- submit to us anytime!)

Also, SIGNING FAMILIES™ proudly teamed with abcteach.com to create downloadable flashcards and movies for their terrific educators website. To date, we have created for videos which help students and teachers learn COLORS, the ALPHABET and NUMBERS and COMMON SCHOOL WORDS in ASL. Next we will be developing a video for WH? question words.

…And if we can find people who know sign language for Japan we will gladly put together for First Responders and the Red Cross a quick chart to use on site to help communicate with the deaf population in Japan. (Please send any info about JSL – Japanese Sign Language to info@SigningFamilies.com)

THANK YOU FOR READING… now please vote.. today and every day until the competition ends in mid- May. It would be so groovy to get more people taking a sign language journey with us!

~Louise

ABC News Now, INC, MSN.com, Entrepreneur.com, BizJournals

p.s. A very special Thank You to Karen Geary, my biz mentor, – without her, I would never have had the courage to pursue SIGNING FAMILIES on an international level!

 

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