Why SignWise for Kids?

photo credit: Matthew Kohashi

photo credit: Matthew Kohashi

A premier Quality Assurance Resource Center established in 2016, Signwise for Kids is dedicated to promoting the use and development  of accurate, high quality American Sign Language and Deaf-related products for young children from infant to elementary school age and their families.

We remove the guesswork for parents and professionals who wonder if a product is appropriate for your child. You want to know about the company that created the products and their experiences with sign language and the deaf community. You may question whether the portrayal of a deaf/hard of hearing child appropriate. And many other questions. 

We are a trusted resource for families and offer detailed product reviews, which include specific features and detailed reporting on the accuracy and quality of each product. This allows you to make an informed decision about the best product for your deaf or hard of hearing child. 

Who is This For? 

SignWise for Kids is primarily for families with deaf and hard of hearing children and professionals who work with them.  This site also serves as a good resource for hearing children of deaf parents or children, parents, or anybody who are interested in learning ASL. Additionally, we offer support for developers interested in creating high quality ASL products.

We provide provides reviews, consultations, and share information on various products including books, DVDs, apps, and websites that involves sign language, deaf characters, and/or issues about deaf children. 

Who Set Up the Criteria for the Reviews?

Our team of experts including including faculty members, staff, teachers, and parents from ASL & Deaf Studies, Early Childhood Education, and experiences established the categories in the criteria for high quality products. We also have a team of reviewers who are parents and educators and have combined experiences of teaching and working with kids and families.  

Why is Having a Strong Sign Language Models for Young Children Important?

We want to ensure that children have access to high-quality signing models, and are receiving accurate language input. With a rise in the popularity of  sign language resources and ASL/English bilingual stories for children, there is a concern that creators may have varied expertise levels and fluency with American Sign Language, which can affect the accuracy of the product. In addition, creators can share these products without any review or monitoring.

Research by the National Science Foundation’s Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University shows that that not only should children be exposed to bilingualism at a young age, but also early exposure to/and use of sign language, bilingualism, and fluent sign language models are strong predictors in future academic success of deaf and hard of hearing children. All children have added brain and cognitive advantages they enjoy by being bilinguals.

Research has demonstrated that children who receive rich language, reading, and literacy benefits when they have language input through fluent signing models. There is a strong correlation between children’s signing skills and their reading skills. We want to empower the children to reach their potential as language learners and to support their families. 

See http://vl2parentspackage.org for more on this research.

What Services Do We Offer?  

The authors, developers, publishers, who are creating their products, or any interested individuals may contact us to review a product or for consultation.

Click REVIEWS and CONSULTATION services for more information.