JESSICA SERGEANT: Hello! I’m excited to announce a major accomplishment of mine - my 50th vlog! I’ve enjoyed doing the vlogs tremendously. The vlogs I’ve done are to serve a purpose – to change the stories of Deaf people. Stories of Deaf people are typically portrayed negatively and are often about “overcoming” being deaf. This is not how I and millions of Deaf people feel about being Deaf.

Michael Margolis’ quote is fitting for this vlog. “If you want to change the culture, change the stories”. Why is it important to change the culture? Deaf babies often do not have full access to sign language from birth. This leads them to experience language deprivation, where they have significant delays in language and are unable to communicate. I have personal experience with this and I want to end language deprivation in Deaf babies.

By sharing inspirational stories of Deaf babies, the perception of being deaf becomes positive. One of the most powerful stories you can share are videos of Deaf babies using sign language. Parents of Deaf babies need to see that it’s ok to be Deaf. The first annual International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL), adopted by the United Nations, will be on September 23rd. This is an opportunity for us to show videos of Deaf babies using sign language. Ayla is an example. She has inspired 8.5 million people on Facebook via two viral videos. Let Ayla continue to inspire more people and show that it’s okay to be Deaf. Thank you for watching. Bye!

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