American Sign Language Readers, ASL, Inc

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About Us

You make each day special by just being you. -Fred Rogers

Purpose

ASL Friends, Inc. (formerly ASL Readers, Inc.) was incorporated on October 3, 2005 and received tax exempt 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service on November 3, 2006 for the purpose of adapting spoken and written English educational materials into American Sign Language creating accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.



Background

Although the idea of adding American Sign Language (ASL) to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood has been on the drawing board since 1992, it became formalized in 2005 when ASL Friends, Inc. (formerly ASL Readers, Inc.) incorporated into a non-profit organization with the intent of making Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood accessible through American Sign Language.  The Fred Rogers Company (formerly Family Communications, Inc.) granted permission for an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to be utilized for research purposes. 

Deaf-award winning director/producer James DeBee produced the pilot Mister Rogers’ ASL Friends “Love” DVD in 2008 made possible by a grant from The Scaife Family Foundation.  ASL Friends, Inc. collaborated with Brenda Schick, Ph.D. of the University of Colorado to conduct a National Parent Survey in 2009, indicating the need for future productions.  By 2012, a segment of the Mister Rogers’ ASL Friends “Love” DVD had over 20,000 views on YouTube.  Today, ASL Friends, Inc. continues to be powered by skilled volunteers.Top

Fred Rogers with Kim and Ryan Nussbaum, 1994
Fred Rogers with Kim & Ryan Nussbaum, 2004

A Note from our Founder:

It is an honor to share Mister Rogers’ meaningful communication with deaf and hard-of-hearing children.  We hope our efforts at ASL Friends, Inc. provide families a valuable resource to share with their children as they learn American Sign Language together.  I recently met a hearing mother who was excited to learn about the Mister Rogers’ ASL Friends DVD and looked forward to viewing it with her adult Deaf son! How wonderful that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood touches the hearts of all ages. The parent-child relationship never ends, nor should the communication. 

Make Everyday a Beautiful Day! Kim Nussbaum
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Board of Directors

Board 2015-2016: click name for bio and email

President Kimberly Nussbaum  
Vice President Susan DiIorio Miller
Secretary Ursula Lesic
Treasurer Laura Clark

MediaTop

Articles

Awards

Blogs

  • Author Tim Madigan Shares His Friendship with Fred Rogers with 150 Deaf Teens from Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

Video

 

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ASL Friends Inc. ©2016
100 Bradford Rd, Suite 200 • Wexford, PA 15090 • contact@aslfriends.org