Entries by Michelle Jay

Deaf Culture Do’s and Don’ts

Learning the nuances of Deaf Culture can be difficult for new American Sign Language students. There are many differences between hearing culture and Deaf culture. Below you can find some tips and insights about interacting in the Deaf community submitted by signers, interpreters, Deaf people, and more! Hearing Culture vs. Deaf Culture by Tamra Goleman […]

Juliette Gordon Low – Deaf Founder of the Girl Scouts

Juliette Gordon Low was a deaf woman who was best known for being the founder of the Girl Scouts organization. Juliette Gordon Low Articles by Students Who is your favorite person from deaf history? Juliette Gordon Low, a Hero to All People by Jodi J (Parsons, KS, USA) | January 24, 2013 Perhaps no greater tribute […]

Alexander Graham Bell – Helpful or Harmful?

We all know Alexander Graham Bell (known as AGB in the Deaf community) as the inventor of the telephone. That makes him a good guy, right? Creating a way for man to effectively communicate across long distances? Not so much. Bell was an innovator and educator. However, he was also an oppressor, and this side […]

Abbe de L’Epee

Abbe de L’Epee, a French Catholic priest, founded the first social and religious association for deaf people around 1750. L’Epee’s full name was Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee and he was one of the most important people in the history of sign language. A common story retold throughout the history of sign language claims that […]

Helen Keller – The First Deaf-Blind College Graduate

Helen Keller is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. And that is so amazing because she was deaf and blind. When I was in elementary school, we learned all about Helen Keller. I completed a report on her and dressed up as Anne Sullivan in the fourth grade. Helen is the most famous deaf-blind person […]

History of American Sign Language

The history of American Sign Language didn’t truly begin until 1814 when deaf education was introduced to the United States. There is virtually no information about American Sign Language history before this time. Early in the 1800s, there were only a few thousand deaf Americans. No standard signed language existed at this time, but various […]

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas was a deaf undercover specialist for the FBI. She was the inspiration for the TV series Sue Thomas: FBEye, an international speaker, author, and founder of Kennels of Levi: EPEC Service Dogs for people who are physically challenged. She was also the founder of WaterBrooks – a Christian spiritual renewal center – and […]

Deaf Culture Essentials

Perhaps the most important part of learning ASL Deaf Culture was first truly recognized in 1965 (only about 40 years ago!) The idea that Deaf people had a culture of their own was first written in the Dictionary of American Sign Language by William Stokoe, Carl Croneberg, and Dorothy Casterline. This was a huge step […]

History of Sign Language – Deaf History

The events that occurred in the history of sign language are actually pretty shocking. How deaf people experience life today is directly related to how they were treated in the past. It wasn’t long ago when the deaf were harshly oppressed and denied even their fundamental rights. The are many famous deaf people who have […]

Deaf Culture Art / Deaf Art

Deaf culture art, I think, is a cultural art that reaches both positive and negative ends of the spectrum unlike any other. I have truly learned so much about the Deaf simply by seeing the artwork that Deaf Culture produces. Deaf people have experienced many negative life changing events throughout history. They’ve been strongly oppressed […]

Shoshannah Stern

Shoshannah Stern is a well known deaf actress who is best known for her roles as Bonnie Richmond in Jericho, Holly Brodeen in Threat Matrix, and Megan Graves on Weeds. Shoshannah was born in Walnut Creek, California in 1980 and attended the California School for the Deaf, Fremont growing up. American Sign Language was her […]

I LOVE YOU Sign Language Sign

The Truth Behind the Sign I read something incredibly amusing today about the “I Love You” sign language sign. I read the “article” on a page called Signs of Satan. I am honestly thinking that whoever wrote this did it just for the attention. If that’s the case, I really hate giving them the satisfaction, […]

Switched At Birth

Switched at Birth is a television show featured on ABC Family that has truly brought American Sign Language and Deaf Culture into the living rooms of today’s generation. It is the first television show to feature several deaf actors/characters and entire scenes shot using only ASL. Switched at Birth is about two teen girls and […]

An Interview with Jamie Berke

An Interview with the Famous(Now Former)About.com Deafness Guide If you have ever researched deafness, deaf people, or sign language online, you have most likely landed on one of the many Deafness articles by Jamie Berke at About.com. Jamie was the Deafness Guide for About.com from 1997-2012. When I was learning sign language, her articles were […]

Who Invented Sign Language?

The question of who invented sign language has sparked much debate and has a vague answer. If you want to know who invented sign language, you need to analyze the events in Deaf History. Some scientists credit mankind as the inventors of the first sign language. This is probably true. Early man, before spoken language, […]

Fun American Sign Language Game List

We have had some fun experiences with American Sign Language games in the classroom. Here are some of our favorites: Sign Language Telephone GameRemember the game “Telephone” from grade school? Well, with this game, you sign it instead of say it. So, everyone lines up or forms a circle without looking at each other. The […]

Interpreting Songs for the Deaf

Signing songs for the deaf is a great way for students to learn a LOT of vocabulary and retain that vocabulary for a long time. If you need to interpret a song, I suggest finding a native Deaf signer or ASL interpreter to help out. If that’s not possible, the approach you take to interpret […]

The Best Songs in Sign Language

American Sign Language is a very expressive language. Songs in sign language are therefore equally expressive and many times are more expressive than their purely vocal versions. If you’re interested in learning how to sign songs, visit our Interpreting Songs for the Deaf page. There are so many people that have interpreted songs into ASL […]

Stockard Channing

Narrator of Through Deaf Eyes Stockard Channing is a film, stage, and television actress who narrated the film Through Deaf Eyes. She is best known for her role as First Lady Abbey Bartlet on The West Wing, Betty Rizzo in the film Grease, and in Six Degrees of Separation. She was born on February 13, […]

American Sign Language

What You Need to Know Don’t forget to check out our free American Sign Language online classes where you can start learning sign language! The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 28 million Americans (about 10% of the population) have some degree of hearing loss. About 2 million of these 28 million people are […]

ASL Immersion

Deaf Culture Membership ASL immersion is part of learning ASL and being a part of Deaf Culture. ASL Immersion is when you immerse yourself in the language and the community of the Deaf. When you begin socializing with Deaf people and honing your ASL skills in this way, I want to make sure you know […]

Through Deaf Eyes

Through Deaf Eyes is the most informational piece I have ever watched about Deaf people. I missed the premiere on PBS, but was able to watch a screening of this film at CSUN while I was a student. I can’t believe how amazing it is. Most hearing people are completely clueless when it comes to […]

Children of a Lesser God

Children of a Lesser God was the first feature film I watched that was about a deaf person. I was in awe. This movie is amazing. If you have never seen it, you will be blown away. Marlee Matlin is an incredible actress. She is my favorite deaf actress, as well as the first one […]

Cochlear Implants – A Cultural Threat

by: Anonymous This article discusses a common Deaf cultural view of cochlear implants. Not everyone shares these views and this article is for educational purposes only. The company’s name used throughout the article has been omitted. A cochlear implant is a new mechanism for hearing when a hearing aid is not sufficient. A hearing aid […]

The Deaf Community and How You Can Get Involved

Not all deaf people use American Sign Language to communicate. However, those deaf people who do use ASL share a language bond that unites them as part of the Deaf community. The members of this community not only share a common language, they are also linked by similar beliefs and attitudes about themselves and about […]

Deaf Olympics

Official Name: Deaflympics The Deaf Olympics, known as the Deaflympics, are international athletic competitions for the deaf. The Deaflympics started in Paris in 1924 and have had three official names: “International Games for the Deaf” from 1924 to 1965 (sometimes also the “International Silent Games”) “World Games for the Deaf” from 1966 to 1999 (sometimes […]

The Story of Deaf Smith

A Hero of the Texas Revolution Deaf Smith is famous for the important role he played in the Texas Revolution. Erastus “Deaf” Smith Erastus “Deaf” Smith was born April 19, 1787 in Dutchess County, New York and lost most of his hearing due to a childhood illness. Smith first moved to Texas in 1821 where […]

Deanne Bray

Deaf Actress from Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye Deanne Bray is a well known deaf actress who was probably the first deaf person Hollywood created an entire television show around. She is best known for playing Sue Thomas on Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye that aired on the PAX channel for 3 seasons. She competed with both hearing and […]