Monday, March 16, 2009

Sponsor :: Signing Time

I have my first Sponsor for Blogher!!! I have worked with Signing Time in the past and am thrilled to do so again!

When I started contemplating companies I wanted to work with and represent at Blogher, Signing Time was at the top of my list. I contacted them and was thrilled to have Rachel email me back stating that they would love to help me.

I have talked before about the benefits of signing with preverbal infants and children. I was an interpreter for the Deaf for 3 years before having Emma and am fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). So, when I first heard about Signing Time...well, honestly, I was a little skeptical. I know that there are many programs out there that say they are ASL, yet are mostly made up signs. When Jeremy's Aunt gave me the first 3 DVD's, I sat down to watch them, prepared to laugh at how terrible and wrong they were.

Boy was I surprised. Signing Time started as a labor of love by two sisters. Rachel Coleman and her sister, Emilie Brown, made a few videos to help teach ASL to family and friends. You see, Rachel, a musician, has a daughter who is Deaf. When she learned that her daughter was Deaf, she and her husband learned ASL as fast as they could and started teaching Leah.
Something remarkable happened: by the time Leah was 18 months old, her
baby sign language vocabulary far surpassed the spoken vocabulary of hearing children her same age. While Leah's little friends could only point and whine for something they wanted, Leah found it much more effective to sign, "Juice, not milk" or, "Cheese and crackers, please". Other parents took notice, including Rachel's sister Emilie, who started teaching sign language to her infant son Alex, so that he would be able to communicate with Leah. Emilie was thrilled one morning when baby Alex, then only ten months old, found his own use for sign language: he stopped fussing, looked up at her, and signed "milk".

I was most impressed by the fact that Rachel and her husband wanted to learn to communicate with their daughter. I grew up around Deaf adults, and had Deaf roommates in college. I can't tell you how many of them had parents that could not communicate with them because they wouldn't learn ASL. When I learned this, I became very excited about this company and started telling everyone I know about them.

While living in Salt Lake City, I taught Sign with your Baby Classes and did various workshops about how to get started. I always recommended these videos to parents as a fabulous supplement to their learning. I even lent out my own copies of the programs to the parents.

During this time, I also had the opportunity to be a "proofer" for Signing Time. I would get a DVD and check for errors. Not errors in the Signing (they have Deaf adults on set for this purpose), but for technical errors with the videos. This company is just fantastic and always a joy to work with.

So, why Signing Time you ask? Go over to their website and look around. Not only are there 17 DVD's to choose from, there are also message boards where you can connect with other parents signing with their children, Rachel and Emilie's blog, and games for the kids to play -- there is also the Signing Time Foundation -- a foundation whose goal it is to enrich the lives of children of all abilities.

This is a company that truly gives back. Their primary goal is to assist families in communication. I am thrilled to represent them, and want you to go check them out today!


Jen said...

That's awesome! My boys STILL love ST videos and watch them way too often. When people ask how both my kids learned to read at age 2, I credit learning ASL and watching ST videos! Congrats on getting them to sponsor you.

*Lissa* said...

That is awesome!! Congratulations!

Lolli said...

Congrats for getting a sponsor! And what a wonderful sponsor it is! I am so excited for you! Any advice on how I can find a good company so I can come along and be your roomy??

exhale. return to center. said...

congratulations to you. and yay for signing times. we absolutely LOVE our signing times dvds.