Friday, December 28, 2007

Signing Time going to Ghana

Signing Time has partnered with Signs Of Hope International - they have created internships for Americans who know ASL to go teach the teachers. They also have a teacher incentive program, to encourage the teachers to show up to class and to learn ASL.

A little bit about Ghana and why we are going. Ghana is the size of Oregon. They have 13 schools for the deaf there. Deaf children start school at the age of 4. Many are dropped off for their 3 month semester and their families never come back to pick them up. A week after the semester ends, an orphanage bus comes to get the children who have been left.

Many of the families can not afford the tuition of $83 per semester. Many are embarrassed that their child is deaf.

The teachers have no background in Deaf Ed. They finish college and are assigned to teach at a school. Most are unhappy to find they are assigned to a deaf school. They do not know the language and have no proof that these deaf children CAN be taught.Deaf girls are even worse off. Two years ago deaf girls were finally allowed to go to high school.

When Leah heard this, she was distraught. Her eyes were full of tears and she said, "Mom!! We have to do something!! I'm deaf and I'm a girl and if I was born in Ghana I wouldn't have a chance!"

While filming the last Signing Time shows we interviewed Leah and I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. She said, "I want to be a teacher of the deaf in Africa." Well, Leah will not have to wait until she has grown up.

Signs of Hope International brought Signing Time DVD's to the schools in Ghana. The teachers and students could not believe that in America a deaf GIRL would ever be on TV.

We are looking to make this a yearly trip, where we can go inspire, teach and show these children the possibilities for their futures. It is our goal that on our future trips we will not only teach and inspire, but we will be building playgrounds and dormitories at these schools as well.

If you know someone who would like to support these efforts, they can make a tax deductible donation to:
The Signing Time Foundation
623 E. Fort Union Blvd. Suite 202
Midvale UT 84107
or online at
Please make a note that the funds are for Ghana.
You can make a difference with any amount!

This is an amazing story. Leah is living her dream and going to make a BIG difference. Please donate if you can and pass this story on to everyone you know.

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