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Signing Time

When musician Rachel Colman, co-founder of Two Little Hands Productions, discovered that her 14-month-old daughter, Leah, was profoundly deaf, Rachel put down her guitar, learned sign language and taught it to her daughter as fast as she could learn it.

By the time Leah was 18 months old, the little girl’s sign language vocabulary surpassed the spoken vocabulary of hearing children the same age.

A few years later, Rachel gave birth to Lucy, who was born premature with spinabifida and cerebral palsy. Doctors were concerned that Lucy would never speak, let alone use her hands to sign with Leah.

In the midst of all this, Rachel and her sister Emilie decided to create a video to teach sign language to hearing children, so that friends and family could easily learn to communicate both with the deaf and also with pre-verbal infants. In May 2002, the first volume of Signing Time was completed, with Rachel as the singing, signing host and starring 5 year old Leah and 3-year-old Alex, Emilie’s hearing son.

Since then, Two Little Hands Productions has released 9 Signing Time videos/DVDs (volumes 10, 11, 12 and 13 to be released in April 2006) along with a series of colorful hardcover books to reinforce vocabulary learned from the DVDs and a TV series on PBS stations across the country.

And whatever happened to little Lucy? Shortly after the video’s release and two years of no communication since her birth, Lucy actually started to sign despite her physical limitations, and soon afterward, started to talk.

To learn more about Signing Time and Rachel Colman please visit www.signingtime.com.


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