American Sign Language Readers, ASL, Inc

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Professional Testimonials Parent Testimonials National Family Survey

Testimonials & Research

It’s good to know from the parent testimonials that this version of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood has not only helped them appreciate our program, but that it has also made a difference in their family communications.

-David Newell,
Director of Public Relations for The Fred Rogers Company
(aka “Speedy Delivery” Mr. McFeely)

 

Professional Testimonials

“I think this project is great!  It will give us an opportunity to teach ASL, language, literacy, and character development.  I am ready to buy right now.”

  -Dr. Monita Hara, Director
Louisiana School for the Deaf

“Please produce more, especially for small deaf children so they can watch and see sign.  With closed caption, deaf small children are not ready to read yet.  Perfect for them to watch sign."   

-Deaf Adult
                                                                American School for the Deaf

“It’s a definite enhancement to captions and makes it more accessible to toddlers who are emerging readers.”                                

-Dr. Larry S. Taub, Head of School
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

“Engaging.”                                                       

-Deaf Adult
American School for the Deaf

“I’d use this right now in my Parent Infant teacher training classes.” 

-Diane Klein, Ph.D.
Professor Hearing Program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

“Watching the video-what a great way to provide a sign model to our young children who are deaf!”

-Kimberly White
Teacher of the Deaf
Pittsburgh, PA

“I think this was great for children who use hearing devices and those who use ASL.”

-Deaf Adult
American School for the Deaf

 

Parent Testimonials

“The whole DVD was wonderful!  My child really enjoyed the program and wanted to watch more!  We hope there will be additional productions of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with ASL.  It was really nice to see my daughter have access to and enjoying something that I loved as a child.”   

-S.O., Hawaii

“My son said he really liked knowing what was being said.”  

-C.T., Florida

“Would love to see more of those for Mr. Rogers and other children learning TV shows!” 

-E.M., Pennsylvania

“I thoroughly enjoyed watching this DVD.  I am constantly trying to improve my signing skills.  As a parent of a deaf child, I am learning ways to improve my sign skill.  The way Roger Vass portrayed Mr. McFeely’s mannerisms while signing emphasized the importance of facial expression and body language to help convey the signed message.  Thank you!”                                       

-K.H., Ohio

“It’s great to see a children’s show that has actual signing rather than reading captions.” 

-B.B., West Virginia

“My son asked to see it again.”         

-B.L., Arizona

“My daughter and both sons watched the video with me and they asked to see it a second time.  They did not get bored.”               

-J.C., Florida

“This was great!  We were glad to be re-introduced to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and would be delighted to have more episodes with ASL signers available.”                          

-D.M., Indiana

 

National Parent Survey

  • Introduction
  • Purpose
  • Method
  • Subjects
  • Results
  • Parent Feedback
  • Family Communication
  • Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Additional Data
  • Recommendations
  • Participating Schools

Introduction


In 2009 ASL Friends, Inc. (formerly ASL Readers, Inc.) collaborated with Brenda Schick, Ph.D. Brenda.Schick@colorado.edu at the University of Colorado to evaluate the pilot Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with American Sign Language DVD(MRN/ASL DVD).  In this episode ASL is modeled through native Deaf signers.  Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was selected to be a home ASL language model for young deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their hearing families.  Fred Rogers based his programming on child development and early education principles.  He carefully communicated meaningful messages about each person's uniqueness, helping children come to appreciate that they are special—and so is everyone else in the world.  While Mister Rogers' Neighborhood provides closed captioning, youngsters between the ages of three and five years old are often unable to read. 

Purpose


To evaluate the pilot Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with American Sign Language DVD (MRN/ASL DVD) and determine the need for future productions.

Method


Schools for the deaf across the nation were contacted and asked to participate.  Participating schools received a complimentary pilot Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with American Sign Language DVD for their media centers.  National Family Surveys were distributed at schools for the deaf.  Hearing parents were asked to view the MRN/ASL DVD with their deaf or hard-of-hearing children aged three to eight years and complete a 2-page survey. 

Subjects


Of the 190 surveys distributed to 38 schools, 78 families returned surveys from 23 schools for a return rate of 41%.  The Ohio School for the Deaf completed additional surveys.  The regional representation included: 40% South, 23% Northeast, 23% Midwest, and 14% West.  [See Regions Graph]

There were 46 girls and 32 boys between the ages of 3 and 8 years with hearing loss. The average age of the child respondents was 5 years 9 months.  Fifty-nine percent of the children were described as ASL being their first language, 27% identified English, 9% ASL/English, and 5% blank.   The child reading levels were described as 31% Word level, 29% ABCs/123s, 23% Sentences, 9% Paragraphs, and 8% blank.  Parents rated their own signing skills on average as 1.6, Beginning to Intermediate on a scale of 1-3 (1=Beginning  2=Intermediate  3=Advance).

Results

The following deciding factors helped determined the need for future Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with American Sign Language programming:

DECIDING FACTORS

Question

Answer

  • How long does child attend? 

4.40 Avg  (Scale: 1-5, 5=100%)

  • Does child like the MRN/ASL DVD?

4.15 Avg *

  • Does the parent like the MRN/ASL DVD?

4.27 Avg *

  • Would the parent recommend the program to other families with deaf or hard-of-hearing children?

4.31 Avg *

  • Would parent like see more MRN/ASL programs produced?

4.58 Avg *
(Scale 1-5, 5 = Positive)*

Parent Feedback


The following are parent recommendations for improving the program:  

  • slower signing
  • less fading in and out of the signers
  • dress each Deaf signer in character costume
  • provide each character and puppet a different Deaf signer
  • rename the "Character" section: "Name Signs"
  • provide an ASL Guide for families to work on vocabulary

Some parents also noted that they would rather see more up-to-date programs and reasonably priced ASL DVDs in the market.     

Additional Parent Comments

"I'm so thankful for this program!"

"Helped the whole family learn signs"

"My child really enjoyed the program and wants to watch more!"

"Thank you for working to make the program more accessible to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing families."

Family Communication

Families learned over 70 signs from this 30-minute program.  The top five signs learned included:  neighborhood, costume, sew, suitcase, and love.  The overall favorite segment was the Bear Factory.  Seventy-five percent of children initiated communication with their parent regarding the program, 23% did not, and 2% blank.  The most popular topic of discussion was the Bear Factory (30), followed by the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (21). 

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

When questioned about the original Mister Rogers' Neighborhood program without sign language, 70% of children did not watch the program and 22% of families did not respond.  Of the 8% who watch the program, six view it monthly.  Three parents interpret the program for their child, three do not.  Forty-one percent of families knew the program was closed captioned, 54% did not, and 5% did not respond.  Ninety-five percent of families did not know of the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Plan & Play Book.  Ninety-four percent of families have never visited the The Fred Rogers Company website.

Additional Data

The children described Sponge Bob (18) as their favorite program, followed by Dora the Explorer (9), and Tom & Jerry (7).  The overwhelming favorite child's favorite ASL DVD or website was Signing Times (24)  The question "How many additional deaf/hard-of-hearing members live in the household?" was omitted due to misinterpretation.

Emma and Paige DoughtyRecommendations

Based on the favorable results from hearing families with young deaf and hard-of-hearing children, it is recommended that future episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with American Sign Language be produced.  The next Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ASL Friends production will be one-week of programming or 5, 30-minute episodes.  Each week of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is a theme of childhood such as "Love," "Anger," "Friends," etc. 

We are deeply grateful to the parents, children, and school representatives who took time to participate in this National Survey.

Kim Nussbaum, M.Ed
ASL Friends, Inc.

Brenda Schick, Ph.D
University of Colorado

Participating Schools

ASL Friends, Inc. would like to thank the following participating schools:

      • Alabama School for the Deaf and Blind
      • Alaska State School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
      • American School for the Deaf*
      • Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind
      • Arkansas School for the Deaf
      • California School for the Deaf, Riverside
      • Florida School for the Deaf and Blind
      • Georgia School for the Deaf
      • Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind
      • Idaho School for the Deaf
      • Illinois School for the Deaf
      • Indiana School for the Deaf
      • Iowa School for the Deaf
      • Kansas State School for the Deaf
      • Kentucky School for the Deaf
      • Las Vegas Charter School for the Deaf
      • Louisiana School for the Deaf
      • Michigan School for the Deaf
      • Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
      • Mississippi School for the Deaf
      • Missouri School for the Deaf
      • New Mexico School for the Deaf
      • North Dakota School for the Deaf
      • Ohio School for the Deaf
      • Oklahoma School for the Deaf
      • Oregon School for the Deaf
      • Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
      • Rhode Island School for the Deaf
      • Rocky Mountain Deaf School
      • South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind
      • South Dakota School for the Deaf
      • Tennessee School for the Deaf
      • Texas School for the Deaf
      • The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
      • Utah School for the Deaf and Blind
      • Virginia School for the Deaf
      • Washington School for the Deaf
      • West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind
      • Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

 

*Data collected prior to study.

 

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