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The S.I.G.N. Academy Team


I have reviewed and found several shows and movies that provide a positive and realistic portrayal of deafness and feature deaf or hard of hearing actors. Representation in media plays a significant role in shaping our attitudes and perceptions about various communities, including the Deaf community. By showcasing diverse characters and actors, these productions contribute to a more inclusive and accurate representation of deafness.

"Switched at Birth" is indeed well-known for its portrayal of deaf characters and storylines. The inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing actors like Katie Leclerc, Sean Berdy, Ryan Lane, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin adds authenticity and depth to the show. It's commendable that the series incorporates a deaf school and references the Gallaudet Revolution, highlighting important aspects of Deaf culture and history.

Reality shows like "The Circle: US" can also have a positive impact on representation. Featuring contestants like Raven Blue, a deaf influencer, helps to break barriers and increase visibility for deaf individuals. Raven's...

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It is evident that the medical model of deafness is potentially harmful and stigmatizing to deaf individuals. This model needs to be modernized to maintain a positive view of deafness and encourage hearing people to become allies. I found mixed views on the medical model, with some sources seeing it in a negative light.

One of the concerns is that the medical model attributes weaknesses to deaf individuals and assumes their autonomy is limited. This can lead to negative stereotypes and perpetuate the idea that disabled individuals are pitiable and dependent. Additionally, the "medicalization role," which can further reinforce the need for dependency and a sick role for disabled individuals.

Furthermore, the medical model of deafness is often favored by individuals who lost their hearing after already mastering spoken language, as well as those who identify as having a "hearing impairment" or being "hard of hearing." This preference may stem from the use of hearing aids or other surgeries, which align with the medical model's approach.

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Many people experience hearing loss, in fact, “it is estimated by 2050 over 900 million people, or one in every 10 people, will have disabling hearing loss” (

Deaf education is an important first step in becoming an ally. Hearing people can read articles and books about deaf issues and topics and enlighten themselves with new information. Current areas where deaf people do not feel included are: “healthcare institutions, public transportation, culture, etc.” ( Currently there is an injustice and prejudice of negative viewpoints of deaf people by some hearing individuals.

Secondly, “one of the key things to realize is that deaf people are very visual—so having a screen or written document to share information can go a long way” ( “In general, try to focus on digital accessibility. If you’re creating a corporate video, make sure to add sign language interpretation or at least captions. This will help you include people who are traditionally marginalized but also reach a bigger audience” (

Third, a person can...


Studies show that overall teaching children’s languages when they are in childhood helps increase a child’s intelligence including their visual intelligence. Deaf babies babble in sign language. Studies show that every baby or child has the highest capacity at that age to learn signs. After reviewing research, Sensory Solutions details the way that sign language may have a positive effect on children and toddlers’ overall development in fact there were five benefits mentioned, “increased vocabulary, elimination of temper tantrums caused by frustrations, increased social skills, comprehension of IQ, improvement of IQ” (Sensory Solutions).

The first benefit is increased vocabulary. This is evident because ASL and sign language relies heavily on vocab and certain signs rather than spoken english does not. Having a child be able to increase their vocabulary is very helpful. Secondly, something that can be common in the age range of children who are in their toddlers and babies may be having temper tantrums. Temper Tantrums are when a child may become very upset, angry, or sad...

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We are proud to have been chosen for an article in GoSolo, a platform highlighting entrepreneurs around the country. Read our article here:


This is a common misconception about American Sign Language (ASL). Many people believe sign language has one sign for each word and using sign language to communicate is just taking those signs and visually representing the English sentence. In reality there is not a sign for every word. Also, ASL has a different grammatical structure than English does. Since ASL is a visual language, there are many aspects of English that need to be represented, such as tone, intent, and affect that cannot be conveyed with just a sign, but are also accompanied by facial expressions.

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People often ask, "Where can I learn American Sign Language (ASL)?" When you Google this question you will find a variety of choices and it can seem daunting. You will find online, in-person, one-on-one, group, free, paid, as well as other options. This article is here to provide some guidance so that you pick the option that fits you best!

There are a variety of places to choose from as well as a variety of things to consider.

Before we discuss where, let's start with a few things: Your learning style, your motivation, and your budget.

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Often people assume when a person is wearing hearing aids they work in a similar way to glasses: put them on and all is fixed! Well, I can tell you first-hand that this is not the case. Even as someone who has been around the Deaf community and hearing aid users their whole life, I still made assumptions about how they worked. I thought that I would put on my hearing aids and magic would happen. I was hoping that all of my hearing struggles would be taken care of and I could go on with my life.

Well, that didn't happen. I put on my hearing aid for the first time and was immediately overstimulated. After just one hour I needed to take it off for the rest of the day. Each day, I increased my hearing aid wear time by only a couple of hours until I was able to fully utilize it for the entire day. This process took me two weeks to fully adapt to the hearing world without being overstimulated. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Even after months of daily wear, people sometimes still find their brains needing a break from all...


Many people assume Deaf and hard-of-hearing people read lips. This is a common misconception. It is estimated that only 30% to 40% of speech sounds can be lip-read even under the best conditions and extra information is usually required to understand what is being said. So while it can be an important skill for people with a hearing loss to have, relying on lip-reading alone will not be enough for someone to develop good communication skills (NCDS).


It is important for everyone to know they are valued. For a Deaf or hard-of-hearing (Deaf/HoH) employee there are small changes you can make to make sure they are included and let them know they are a valued member of your team.


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People often search for answers to the following questions:

Can I learn sign language online? Are there sign language classes online? Are there one-on-one ASL lessons online? How do I learn sign language online?

When it comes to learning sign language, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

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Some of the most common searches about learning sign language include:

How long does it usually take to learn sign language? How can I learn sign language fast? What is the fastest way to learn sign language? How to learn sign language fast. Is it hard to learn sign language? Will I learn sign language faster if I watch online videos?

In this blog post, we will address these questions and provide resources.


There are many reasons people become interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL). Some people learn because they know someone who is deaf, while others learn because they think it is a beautiful language. It is amazing to learn all of the stories behind why someone is interested in learning ASL.

There is much debate over who should teach sign language. The most important thing to remember is that American Sign Language was created by and for deaf people. ASL is a full language, just like any spoken language, and is not intended to be a hobby or a talent that hearing people play with. In addition, when a hearing person teaches sign language they are, in a sense, taking that job opportunity away from a deaf person.


You will see the word deaf spelled with either a lowercase 'd' and with an uppercase 'D." Here's why:

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The most common questions asked about sign language interpreters are: Are sign language interpreters needed? Are sign language interpreters in high demand? How do sign language interpreters keep up? How do sign language interpreters find jobs? How do sign language interpreters get paid? Where do sign language interpreters work? Are sign language interpreters deaf?

In this article, we will provide answers to your questions.


Sign Language Interpreters need to earn CEUs (continuing education units) to maintain their certification. The intent of CEUs is directly in the name: continuing our education. By continuing to learn, we continue to grow. While there are life circumstances that may cause an interpreter to not be able to complete their CEUs on a regular basis, earning all of your CEUs right before the end of your CEU cycle is counterintuitive to the intent of the Certification Maintenance Program (CMP).

According to RID's website ( here are a variety of ways sign language interpreters can earn RID approved CEUs online, including:

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Becoming a sign language interpreter takes years of education and training. Once you become a sign language interpreter you start to realize just how complex the role is. One of the ways to grow as a sign language interpreter is to work with a mentor.

Sign language interpreters work with mentors for many reasons. Interpreters have the opportunity to work with Deaf and/or hearing mentors in order to continue their growth. Mentoring is a valuable asset for sign language interpreters at any stage in their career.

There are many great options for sign language interpreters to find a mentor. This is a change from even just a few years ago. There are options for both in-person and online mentoring. When looking for a mentor, here are some things to keep in mind.


Having a child is exciting! There are so many things to consider and so many things to plan for. When you find out you are having a child you think about everything from names to nurseries. You plan to raise your child with love and support and only want what is best for them.

Hearing parents who have a child with hearing loss are often bombarded with information about what they should do for their child. They will receive information from medical professionals such as a Pediatrician, Audiologist, Speech Language Pathologist, ENT, etc. as well as information about American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf culture, schools for the Deaf, etc. It can be quite overwhelming.

When parents are planning to have a child, they often picture them in their own image, meaning they picture a child with their same abilities. If a parent can play piano, they can picture their own child playing the piano. If a parent is athletic, they picture their child be involved with sports. When you have a child, who is born with a hearing loss and you have no experience or education about hearing loss,...

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Watch our video with a Deaf trainer teaching the ABCs in American Sign Language. Click the picture to be taken to our YouTube channel.