Did you watch The Amazing Race Canada Tuesday evening???
Did you see the biggest secret I kept since April, the race occurred at my old alumni Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf (SJW) in Belleville, Ontario. The show used my ASL alphabet chart!!! I am so honoured to have my illustrations with my logo displayed on the amazing show.
How did this happen? I was contacted by two peers at SJW seeking an ASL alphabet chart. They reached out to many and seek online. They did not tell me why and that it was urgent. They hinted that many people will see it. I was skeptical of them but I sent them my chart anyway, thinking that will be the end of it. They reached out to provide feedback to improve some of my illustrations of the handshapes because I was close to the truest handshape and needed it that very day! I didn’t tell them I was unwell yet I worked on the illustrations. Send it to them in the early morning on a weekend. I am truly forever grateful to Debbie and Sheri.
Then I got an email from an agency director on the following Monday that runs the show. I learned why then my peers were pushing for me to perfect the illustrations in a hurry. I had to sign a non disclosure agreement to not reveal the purpose of my illustrations. I didn’t even share it with my family. I was unsure what exactly will be shown because the show can do whatever they wanted with the illustrations. I am pleased they showed it as a whole many times in that segment. My family wasn’t mad, they were thrilled for me.
An FYI: When the candidates were fingerspelling the name for their partners to determine what was spelt, the handshape displayed on tv is not mine. It is an old Gallaudet illustration. My illustration is the chart itself. It’s very different from the Gallaudet font that people use to this day as it is not signed accurately.
I want to congratulate the teams who attempted the fingerspelling. I was pleased some of you knew the ASL alphabet. I know learning a new language is hard, I am proud that you tried, you know who you are. I am a fan of this show, that segment was intense! Two teams cut from the race. Yikes.
Thank you Amazing Race Canada for choosing SJW as one of the destinations to educate the masses. Unfortunately our Deaf schools are our provincial government and public school boards best kept secret, most don’t inform new parents of this option even though it’s on their website. Deaf children need a bilingual language foundation and this is the school where they get full access. They are learning both languages, written English and American Sign Language. The Deaf schools provide all the tools to strive in this society that are limited to a listening and speaking environment.
I’m already a fan but you should watch Amazing Race Canada and learn about different destinations across Canada! I’m definitely going to visit the Birdhouse City in few weeks when hubby and I have a getaway weekend. I didn’t know about it and its not far from us.
You can download the ASL alphabet chart to practice from here. (It is copyright – cannot be sold, copied, traced, or changed without my permission.)
Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in Belleville
Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf in Milton
Robarts School for the Deaf in London
W. Ross MacDonald School for the Deaf and Blind in Brantford
Centre Jules-Léger in Ottawa