Hello, I was born Deaf in Los Angeles, CA. My biological mother contracted Rubella during her first trimester of pregnancy with me. When she gave me up for adoption, she had no idea what I would be like. I was adopted at two (2) months old. During my formulative years, I went through daily speech therapy where I learned to voice words and lip-read well while attending John Tracy Clinic. My parents were adamant that I was to learn to speak and lip-read. I was mainstreamed in school without an interpreter throughout my elementary, junior and high school. It was not easy but I became an expert in lip-reading during my young years!
I knew sign language growing up when I went to a special school for pre-school toddlers and other school age. When my parents found out I was learning sign language instead of speaking, they
took me out of the school and enrolled me into a hearing school. I was very upset at the time being taken out of my culture and language but had no control over their decision. In the years to come, I had neighbors who were Deaf living next door so I was able to maintain my signing skills until high school when I was rebelling! Who doesn’t rebel?? Once I graduated from high school, I went straight to the workforce working with variety of companies utilizing my skills. In 1987, I decided to follow my dreams and travel. I have traveled extensively around the world, while continuing to be an advocate for the Deaf. In 1997, I settled in Orlando, FL. I used to work for Walt Disney World where I was continually called upon to interpret for Deaf guests, employees and to enhance management seminars by teaching Deaf Culture.
In 2003, Deaf Talk, LLC opened its doors providing disability awareness workshops, sign language classes and mentoring. In 2008, I expanded the business by adding professional development as well as interpreting services offering top quality interpreting services to the Deaf. In 2008, I graduated from college all while working full time and working towards developing and growing a business.
In 2010, I left the Company to focus on another dream. I started focusing on Deaf Talk LLC Interpreting Services full time where I provide interpreting services, mentoring, sign language classes and provide resources to the Deaf and Hearing community.
Today, Deaf Talk, LLC is a minority/women owned business enterprise (M/WBE) certified by several organizations. I currently travel providing workshops educating Deaf and Hearing people about working with Interpreters and their rights while providing them with quality sign language interpreters.
I previously served as a Board of Directors for Florida Regional Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID) from 2009 – 2011 and Board of Director with NAWBO (National Association Women Business Owners).
To learn more about Deaf Talk, LLC, I encourage you to check out our interactive website at www.deaftalkllc.com or become a fan of our Facebook page to learn and be educated at www.facebook.com/deaftalk
Hello! I was born and raised in White Plains, NY a city approximately 30 minutes north of New York City. My mother contracted Rubella also known as German measles, when she was about 7 months pregnant with me. The doctor warned my parents that it was possible I would have multiple health problems, such as Down’s syndrome, deafness, blindness and even severe heart problems. The doctor suggested that my parents choose to terminate the pregnancy - to abort me. To my parents’ horror and outrage, they were very much against abortion because of their Catholic faith, they decided to switch doctors during my mother’s third trimester. My parents experienced unimaginable stress for the next few months awaiting my birth. As a parent myself, not the circumstances anyone wants to face during a pregnancy, not to mention your first child.
I was born at Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown, NY at 4:19 pm on October 29, 1964. My parents were elated when they first saw me! According to my parents and the doctors, I was appeared to be a seemingly healthy and beautiful baby. For the next few months, they monitored me closely and claimed me as a perfect and normal baby.
During my toddler years, I was so incredibly alert and played like any other child. Until one day, my parents took me to a parade. A big fire truck was going by with its sirens blasting and all the other children except me were covering their ears because it was so loud. At that moment, my mom froze because I had always responded to play when someone was in front of me.
At this time, my parent's decided to take me to an audiologist where tests confirmed that I was indeed hearing impaired. My mother was devastated - so devastated that she didn’t want to hear herself. She used ear plugs to muffle sounds for a couple of days. My mom felt so guilty because she could hear and I couldn't.
After dealing with the facts, my mom decided she needed to adjust and provide me with whatever resources would benefit me. She jumped into action and called a placed called The John Tracy Clinic, which was based in California, and enrolled me in speech therapy course via telephone. It was extremely difficult for my parents to find resources, therapy, etc. that would be beneficial for me due to lack of technology back then. Only because of my mom's strong patience and determination, I can lip-read from all sorts of angles. For example, I can lip-read people from my side, which is an incredible talent that most deaf people cannot do. Still to this day, I am forever grateful for my parents’ strong will, love, and devotion not to give up on me.
In 1992, I moved to Florida from New York with my husband. We have been married for 26 years and we have been busy raising our 2 wonderful teenagers – a son named Shane, age 17, and a daughter Ashley who will turn 16 this July.
Currently, I am on the board with an amazing organization named Florida Hands & Voices (FLH&V) for almost 2 years. This organization gives us the opportunity to provide resources and support to parents with deaf/hard of hearing children. We have been working hard to raise awareness about this amazing organization. I am also an Interpreter Intern Coordinator for FLH&V. The board, and I are indebted to those who volunteer their time and efforts to interpret for the deaf, during our meetings. If you are interested in practicing your signing skills or are looking to earn credits for a program or college, please consider Florida Hands & Voices. I enjoy being a part of FLH&V because it gives me the chance to meet so many interesting and amazing people like doctors, audiologists, speech therapists, teachers, sign language interpreters, parents and especially deaf/ hard of hearing children. Last December, I had the privilege of meeting the Co-Founder of Hands & Voices based in Colorado named Janet Des Georges. She is also a part of the national and international staff at Hands & Voices serving as an Executive Director. I was in awe of her motivation and determination to make Hands and Voices a successful non- profit organization. For more information, I encourage you to check out our website at www.flhv.org and read all about FLH&V. Also be sure to check our calendar for our upcoming events such as Silent Saturdays, Signing Stories, and Family Meetings, etc. Hopefully, I will have the chance to meet you at one (or two) of our future events and you can share you story with me. I am excited to be a part of and see FLH&V continue to be an asset to all of our lives!
Barbara A. Keefe
Last month, I attended the keynote speech at UCF that presented Ryan Lane! I have met yet another amazing actor! Ryan Lane portrays "Travis" in "Switched At Birth" TV series on ABC Family channel. I have been watching the shows from the first episode! He spoke about how he got his first acting job. He was at his school when a director saw him and resembled him as Dummy Hoy, a deaf hero, William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy. (He was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for several teams from 1888 to 1902, most notably the Cincinnati Reds and two Washington franchises. He is noted for being the most accomplished deaf player in major league history, and is credited by some sources with causing the establishment of signals for safe and out calls. He held the major league record for games in center field (1726) from 1899 to 1920, set records for career putouts (3958) and total chances (4625) as an outfielder, and retired among the leaders in outfield games (2nd, 1795), assists (7th, 273) and double plays (3rd, 72). He was also an excellent baserunner, scoring over 100 runs nine times and often finishing among the top base stealers. He is one of only 29 players to have played in four different major leagues. His 1004 career walks put him second in major league history behind Billy Hamilton when he retired, and he also ended his career ranking eighth in career games (1796).) Credit: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dummy_Hoy_baseball_card.jpg#section_1 The director of the Dummy Hoy movie thought that Ryan Lane looked like William aka Dummy Hoy. He asked if Ryan knew how to play baseball. Ryan Lane replied that he plays variety of sports! Bingo! He did not have any acting talent at the time. He worked hard at rehearsals and was assisted by other actors. He did a fantastic job with his acting in Dummy Hoy! He displayed his natural acting talents! He amazed me in so many ways when I met him. He was very humble yet sweet! I have not ever met any actors (Actors Guild) who had a charming personality like Ryan Lane does! I am looking forward to more of him in the films in the future! Ryan Lane finished his speech with a "I Love You" sign! We all smiled!:) Then we met up at a restaurant to cheer him on and got to know him more! It was an really interesting day with him!
Be sure to check him out at:
Thanks for reading! I have more exciting blogs to come!
I have been star struck by two stars within 2 weeks! :) I will begin with writing about just one of them. (I will continue on the next blog entry) I attended an keynote speech event at UCF(University of Central Florida) located in Orlando Florida, Marlee Matlin! Marlee is an actress for 'Switched At Birth' as "Melody". (http://beta.abcfamily.go.com/shows/switched-at-births ) She is also known for her role in Children of a Lesser God. Her speech was the most inspiring and educational I have ever heard. Marlee Matlin put so much positive impacts on the deafness independence, living as an deaf individual herself and emphasizing that the deaf can do anything! That is extraordinarily true. Marlee Matlin has been my idol ever since I was at an young age and have learned so much from her that had helped me become who I am today. Not only her that Marlee Matlin is my idol but there are several people I admired as well that played huge part of my successes because I believed in myself. I am highly grateful that Marlee Matlin stepped in as an amazing role model to the deaf community. I do believe that from the time her movie 'Children Of Lesser God' was produced it has changed so many lives and turning around deaf's view on their life. We are getting so many more role models ever since and still coming around. World has became a better place along with technology and people attitudes toward deafness. It still has not completely met the satisfactory level at the deaf community's expectations . We are not done improving the world for peace and equality! Lets work together to make it happen! Lastly, Marlee made my night by complimenting on my Deaf Insight shirt I wore at her event! :)
If you would like the shirt like mine, you may order yours at
I would love to see you wearing the shirt and send a snapshot of you with your DI shirt.
***Share Deaf Power!:)***
Here I come! I hope that you all have enjoyed my recent guest blogs. I am finally writing a personal blog. I have been insanely busy with school and daily life. I just graduated last week on March 5th. Hooray!!!! I am very proud of my new accomplishment. I am now a certified estechian! I'm moving to my next mission to accomplish on. I have just sent out my application to the board and awaiting my license. When I receive my license, I will be searching for a job. It's so exciting! I cannot wait to see what the future brings me. I know there will be challenges, however, I do have the confidence that I will succeed it through with my strong determination. I have no doubts! I will be doing a vlog when I get accepted for a job! It will be something new for me to do rather than writing blogs at each time. I'm looking forward to sharing my new experiences with you all.
Have a wonderful Spring Break!
My name is Cristine and I took a sign language class about 13 years ago with an interest in doing sign language with my son. I took the class before my son was born. This was before the baby sign language was popular. I took about two classes and loved it. Then ten years later a lady who was deaf moved in next to me. I was excited to try and use what sign language I remembered from class years ago. I was so nervous to try and communicate with her, because I did not remember very much. After a few visits with my new neighbor I was put at ease by her patience in helping me remember sign language. I am so excited every time I communicate with her. I am learning more and more and am having so much fun. She also takes me out with her other friends who are deaf and that is a lot of fun. They are also very patient and make sure they communicate slow enough for me to understand them. I would like to at some point take enough classes that some day I could be an interpreter, because I have had such a positive experience learning sign language from my neighbor friend.
Written by Cristine Peterson Brady
Many people strive for success everyday in their lives. I have just succeeded on my next adventure that I never imagined myself doing. I didn't think I would actually be encountered by the hearing people that I would personally be working on. I have dreamed about becoming a cosmetologist all of my life. I changed my dream around quite a bit to become an esthetician instead. (Estheticians are licensed professionals who are experts in maintaining and improving healthy skin.) There's a lot of personal touching but there isn't really any speaking other than the introduction and client consultation. I found it easier than I thought! I was able to make my own gestures, greet my clients with no barriers and put them at an ease. I have my phone to allow them to speak and I am able to read what they are saying to me. Isn't technology so awesome nowadays! The sessions only lasted approximately 60 minutes and clients only spoke once or twice along with a kind "Hello", wonderful compliments and cheery "Thank You's" with generous tips! That really helped with my self confidence that matters a lot to me as a Deaf person. I am not done dreaming. I will be furthering my education to become a medical esthetician! Nothing can stop you when you set your mind on something that you really want!
Sometimes, there are special perks that we all have in life. Here's one for me, I am attending school to become an esthetician . It just happens that I'm the only deaf student in my class. They usually would have up to 4 students in the class. I feel very fortunate to be the only facial specialty student because it gave me an opportunity to be able to have more of one on one teaching that allows me to have the most focus on my learning along with an interpreter and there is also less confusions as well. In addition, I have a lot of time to myself. Thats a nice perk!
Learning has been quite a huge challenge, putting an extra effort in my work and communication plays a huge part of my course. I'm encouraged and challenged to find the best communication method that works. I will need to use it and prepare myself for the reality when I have my real job as an esthetician where I will be working on the hearing clients along with the deaf people. I have been using body languages, gestures and my cell phone to correspond with my clients. It worked out very well with no difficulties or complaints. I have received positive feedbacks and recognizability in my deafness. They begin to ask me to teach them sign languages. I do not see that I will have any problems with my future. I feel that I will succeed at my another goal once again! ~Never give up your dreams~
There are times you want to be able to present your talents but there's not always the resources out there to make that happen for you. I was amazed by this event I went to last week that was hosted by a deaf individual and sponsored by an ASL club called Silent Talent Show. The bowling entertainment center provided the stage and the sound systems. The event gave deaf people and ASL students an opportunity to show their talents. I haven't been to a silent talent show like it before. I have wished so many times to have a talent show where we could perform, possibly win prizes , and be seen in the media, however, in this world there are not many opportunities for deaf people so I was very captivated by the event. I also brought my 7 years old daughter along, whose a coda herself and she performed as well. She signed ABC song along with another hearing girl. Following at the end of the show, my daughter told a story about her new puppy and it was so cute! It was a fantastic ending to the show. There were several ASL students that sung songs in sign languages and deaf people as well! They signed so beautifully and have really drawn me more into the music and I understand it more than I ever could by watching singers with captioning on TV. I have really enjoyed watching everyone showing their talents! I would love for you all to share your talents and send your videos to Deaf Insight! Send your videos or art work to email email@example.com and we will share your talent with our viewers!
I have just made another accomplishment in my life. I am attending a college to study Esthetics. It has been quite challenging with the interpreters. It is very hands on with activities so the interpreter had to move everywhere with me along with the teacher. It will take some time for us to get accustomed to the teachers teaching habit. I had concerns that there would be some complications with my courses, but I guessed wrong it is easy than I thought it would be! :) I know there will be so many challenges that come with my schooling. I have confidence that I won't have any problems. I have succeeded going through mainstreamed high school, being a lifeguard, pizza drivers in the hearing world and more. I have NO doubt that I will succeed with this endeavor! I have a dream of opening my own day spa! This is another goal I have for myself that I will accomplish. We all must always remember that nothing is impossible! Please do what you can to not discourage yourself and always make efforts to reach your goals and you CAN be successful!
What have you accomplished lately??