All Blog Articles

The Many Faces of the Users of Sign Language

The Many Faces of the Users of Sign Language

By John Miller  |  Sunday, November 25, 2012

About a year and a half ago, I came across a young man having problems in one of my schools.  He was about five years old and like any other five year old boy, he was a bit stubborn.  But, unfortunately, he was also known to be a bit of a “flight risk” from the classroom.  We will call him Alex. Alex isn’t deaf.  I don’t even think he is hard of hearing.  Alex is a very bright young man….a bright ...
Vote or pass gas?

Vote or pass gas?

By John Miller  |  Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seeing that we are in midst of the election season, I thought it would only be fitting to share a non-partisan sign language story that should give you a good chuckle as you enter your local voting precinct. This story relates directly to how signs can have very similar hand shapes and very similar movements BUT can have very different meanings just because of a few subtle changes!  For example, see the similarity between the signs for vote and fart. This experience ...
Clearing up the confusion between Translators, Interpreters, and Interveners

Clearing up the confusion between Translators, Interpreters, and Interveners

By John Miller  |  Saturday, October 20, 2012

I thought it might be interesting for the Signing Savvy community to hear a little bit about the people who work in communication fields with deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing individuals. It's easy to misunderstand the difference (or to even know there is a difference!) between a translator, interpreter, and intervener. However, they are different professions with varying expertise. The type of person you would work with would depend on the situation and needs of the individual, such as the ...
Braille Explained

Braille Explained

By Jillian Winn  |  Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There is sometimes confusion between the communication techniques used with deafness versus blindness, especially with understanding what Braille is and who uses it. It's not uncommon to tell someone you know sign language and then they ask if you know Braille. Braille is typically not used by deaf or hard of hearing individuals. It is a written language used by the blind and visually impaired who may have a hard time, or be unable to, read written text. Braille uses patterns ...
This week is Deaf Awareness Week!

This week is Deaf Awareness Week!

By Jillian Winn  |  Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This week, September 24th to 30th, is Deaf Awareness Week. Deaf Awareness Week, also called International Week of the Deaf (IWD), is celebrated annually and ends with International Day of the Deaf on the last Sunday of the week.  Deaf Awareness Week is celebrated by national and regional associations of the deaf, local communities, and individuals worldwide. The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to increase public awareness of deaf issues, people, and culture.  Activities and events throughout Deaf Awareness Week ...
Learning Many Languages to Master Just One

Learning Many Languages to Master Just One

By Kelley King-Spears  |  Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What do you do when you know deep in your gut that something is different about your child? How do you handle it when people tell you there's nothing to worry about? How do you give your little one the best start you possibly can when it feels like you're running against the wind? These are just some of the thoughts that used to race around in my head when I realized that the little boy I had adopted was presenting ...
A blended approach to learning sign language is still the best!

A blended approach to learning sign language is still the best!

By John Miller  |  Monday, August 20, 2012

I often am asked what the best way to go about learning sign language is.  My stock answer is to take a blended approach (classes, web resources, books, practicing with others) in order to give yourself the best and most well rounded experience. Classes of some sort, whether it is through your local community college, church, school class, or becoming enrolled in an actual interpreter training program can all be great ways to learn the language.  The reason for this is ...
Using Signing Savvy to learn sign language

Using Signing Savvy to learn sign language

By Jillian Winn  |  Sunday, August 12, 2012

Signing Savvy is a great resource to use when learning sign language – whether you are taking a class or just trying to learn on your own.  Using Signing Savvy while taking a class When you are taking a class, you can use Signing Savvy as a sign reference, build your own wordlists related to what you are learning in the class, and practice your vocabulary using the flash cards and quizzing features.  Like using a textbook, Signing Savvy is a great ...
Kaos Signing Choir and Deaf Percussionist Evelyn Glennie are highlights from the Olympic Opening Ceremony

Kaos Signing Choir and Deaf Percussionist Evelyn Glennie are highlights from the Olympic Opening Ceremony

By Jillian Winn  |  Sunday, July 29, 2012

What was our favorite part of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games? It had to be the Kaos Signing Choir for deaf and hearing children and Deaf Percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children If you saw the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games, you probably caught the children in pajamas singing and signing the British national anthem, "God Save the Queen."  The children were from the Kaos Signing Choir for deaf and hearing ...
Kim's Story: A mother's perspective of raising a deaf child

Kim's Story: A mother's perspective of raising a deaf child

By Kim Martinez  |  Tuesday, June 12, 2012

HI! My name is Kim Martinez, and I am proud to say, I am a mother of a deaf child.  She is now 26, and I would not change the way she is. I know most mothers say this, but this is so true for me. When God gives you something special like this, you do one thing…..PUNT!!  I am not going to say this has been easy, it has been really hard actually, but because of the gift of a ...