What do you get when you have a love for helping others communicate and an interest in graphic design and videos? Online, sign language video training that engages and empowers students.
Adrienne, of Learn with Adrienne, merged her background in Speech Language Pathology and her creative nature to develop a 30-day course in sign language where students can learn 300 of the most conversational signs so they can better communicate with others.
She saw other video-based sign language programs that were dull and lacked interest and knew she could make a more interesting and engaging product. Many existing products were made for deaf students and included no talking or background music, which made them off-putting for hearing students.
But Adrienne wanted to help those who were not deaf communicate better with friends and family who were. Her course focuses on the basic sign language needed in everyday conversations. The videos include her demonstrating the sign, talking about it, and describing ways to easily remember what the signs are and what they mean. The course has been a huge success.
In addition, she has built an online community of sign language lovers and learners who are getting to know each other and providing support and encouragement for individual’s journeys. It was an unexpected byproduct of the course offering but has become one of her favorite parts. Adrienne says, “It is such a privilege to be the person who brings together people who have a similar interest in sign language.”
In her day to day therapy practice, she works with children who are behind in their communication skills and their parents, helping incorporate communication and learning into everyday activities. “Parents already have enough going on. It’s really hard to set aside an hour every day to work on speech therapy. I focus on making simple tasks such as getting dressed, or eating, the time where parents can work with their child on communication skills,” she says. “Every choice a child makes is a chance to communicate.”
Interested in teaching from an early age, Adrienne found the most fulfillment when she was working one-on-one with others when she could really see them make progress. After high school service hours with a local speech therapist, she knew she had found her calling. But her creative side was still bubbling, and it was her master’s thesis that brought the two worlds together – and laid the foundation for Learn with Adrienne.
Instead of writing a typical master’s dissertation, Adrienne created a set of DVDs teaching sign language skills. She did all of the filming and video editing herself. That project was the foundation of the 30-day course on sign language she offers now and she still does the all of the creative work on her own.
“Video editing is like a puzzle for me. I create images and graphics I would want to see. Or my friends would want to see. I keep it light and airy to make it more interesting,” Adrienne says. “I can really get in the flow when video editing. I’ll look up and two hours have passed, but it only feels like a few minutes.”
The creative aspect of what she is doing with Learn with Adrienne has certainly helped maintain her passion for her work. But in the end, everything she does is about helping others communicate. “Communication is so foundational to everyone’s life, and to help people who don’t have that is so rewarding. It’s why I do this.”
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