I was chilling out today, watching an episode of Runway Moms on Discovery Health Channel and was so thrilled that they featured a beautiful expecting model who was deaf, and not only that, but there was a short segment showing her learning how to run baby signing classes! She can read lips and can speak clearly but she also uses American Sign Language – both in the classes as well as at home, and it showed her and her husband signing together.
Hillary is a NYC resident and was working with Lora Heller, who runs the My Baby Fingers classes and has several really cute board books and other books out. Some of these books are brand new and currently carried in our store. It was really fantastic to see this show and enjoy how signing has come into more and more media. I hope that this show and many more in the future bring signing to parents who didn’t know much about signing with babies.
This particular episode will be on several more times this summer (all times are eastern and pacific):
- JUL 11 2006 @ 08:00 AM
- JUL 11 2006 @ 02:00 PM
- JUL 15 2006 @ 09:00 AM
- JUL 18 2006 @ 04:00 PM
Here is more information about Hillary from the My Baby Fingers website:
Hillary Baack, BA, is a deaf actress who recently made her NYC stage debut in her one woman show BIRTH STORY. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a double major in Theatre and English, and has studied with DeafWest Theatre in Los Angeles. Hillary works as a staff sign language interpreter at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she also also teaches ASL workshops. She has taught ASL throughout the city for two years and previously taught English and ASL to deaf children in Barcelona, Spain. On part time maternity leave with her baby Finley, Hillary is offering our ASL tutoring program for school age children, and has begun teaching in our UWS mommy & me classes.
And here is more about Lora Heller from her website:
Lora Heller, MS, MT-BC, LCAT, Founding Director is a Board Certified and Licensed Music Therapist with a Master of Science in Special Education/Deaf Education, and mommy to Zeke and Sian. Lora has worked extensively with babies and children of all ages, both typically developing and those with special needs. Growing up in Rochester, NY, Lora first learned sign language as a summer camp counselor so she could better communicate with a young Deaf camper. Through her bachelor’s thesis–a study of music in Deaf culture–Lora wrote, directed, and produced a musical play performed simultaneously in English (by hearing college students) and in ASL (by members of the local Deaf community). Her graduate thesis involved a pilot program teaching sign language through music to parents and their children ages 3 months through three years. While practicing music therapy in Rochester, Lora also performed in professional theater (her favorite role was Cinderella) and directed an inter-city youth theater company. In New York City, Lora has provided music therapy, music classes, educational enrichment, drama workshops, and parent/child sign language classes in such places as St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, St. Luke’s Hospital Division of Child Psychiatry & Roosevelt Hospital Preschool, The New York School for the Deaf, and the 92nd Street Y. Lora is a certified Sign with Your Baby presenter; she is a board member for NYCCAT (New York Coalition for Creative Arts Therapists) and a member of AMTA (American Music Therapy Association).
If you know of any more mentions of signing with babies in feature films, television programs or print media, please let me know!