“I have been blessed with an amazing Mother-in-law.  She has many talents and gifts, but I believe one of her most important gifts is the “gift” of being deaf.  I know that may sound strange, but she has taken this situation that she has been given, and turned into the most beautiful thing.  She has helped so many.  She is inspiring, patient, funny, and a fabulous teacher.  The first time I met her, I didn’t understand the extent of her deafness because she was able to communicate with me by speech reading.  Once I realized she could not hear at all, I was so inspired and excited to learn to communicate with her.

Fingerspelling is the perfect place to start!  You learn hand motions with the letters we already know.  After a few tries, you’ll have it down in no time!  It doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as you are trying.  I found it is very important to speak as you sign, that way it flows for your deaf loved one or friend.  The littlest attempt means the world to someone who cannot participate in conversations around them.  Imagine the world you will be opening up to them! Remember, don’t make this a stressful journey.  Have fun with it, and find your own way of communicating with someone special to you.”