ASL Rose: Deaf Cinderella in ASL

Deaf Cinderella is a 2021 New York City Big Book Award
Distinguished Favorite in the Preteen Fiction category!

NYC Big Book Award agency recognized Deaf Cinderella written by Adonia K. Smith
in the category of Preteen Fiction as a Distinguished Favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book
industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers
and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished
Favorites are based on overall excellence.

Biographies of Creative Team

Credit: Kelly Doucet-Simpson,
Deaf photographer

Adonia K. Smith, creator and author
Adonia is a proud Georgia native and is the first and only person who has earned a doctoral degree from Georgia School for the Deaf since its opening in 1846, thanks to her hearing family learning American Sign Language. Her BA and MA are from Gallaudet University while her EdD is from Lamar University. Formerly a teacher, Adonia won a federal civil case against Loudoun County Public School in Northern Virginia where U.S. District Court found the school did discriminate against her and did not provide a daily American Sign Language interpreter. Being the co-founder, owner, and Chief Executive Officer of ASL Rose since 2004 allows Adonia to dedicate her creative energy to publishing bilingual materials to contribute to knowledge. Through rain, snow, heat, and cold, you can find Adonia hanging out with her dogs: two young Australian Shepherds, Baylee and Flournoy and an elderly DeafBlind Border Collie, Charm.

Credit: Tate Tullier,
Deaf photographer

Maureen Klusza, illustrator and layout editor
Maureen Klusza was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. Her father, an artist himself, inspired her primitive doodling. In grade school, Maureen drew cartoons for her teachers. In high school, Maureen continued drawing cartoons in almost every class to her teachers? chagrin. She helped her junior class fundraise by drawing caricatures for 50 cents each, which will never happen again! Maureen graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA degree in Illustration. (She also took full advantage of non-required math courses.) Maureen lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband, Robin, and daughter, Shoshannah.

Credit: Danielle Smith,
Deaf photographer

Jenna Smith, American Sign Language presenter
Jenna Smith is currently a quarter of a century old. She is well-known for being a crazy cat lady since she was born in Toledo, Ohio. (Life without cats? No way!) She is determined to reach her thousand goals. After she graduating from Gallaudet University with a BA degree in Elementary Education, she is now in her second year teaching of Art and Drama at Indiana School for the Deaf. (Creativity is messy…let them explore!) She looks forward to the opportunity to further discuss how to invest properly in future generations of students through ASL, ART, and Theater curricula and programs. She is thankful for her family, close friends, and furbabies for their constant love and support.

Credit: Donna Frank,
Deaf photographer

Sara Bianco, American Sign Language and English editor
Hailing from a Deaf family that spans four generations, Sara teaches American Sign Language, Deaf Studies, and Signed Language Interpreting courses at the University of Cincinnati and works as a Deaf interpreter. Sara also serves the Deaf and DeafBlind community in many different ways. Originally from the Chicago area, Sara was an AFS exchange student to Germany and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Communication. The apple of her eye, her son, is a student at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf where he plays sports and enjoys the quintessential Deaf experience in the dorms. When the conditions are just right, the tracks in the snow aren’t that of Bigfoot but that of Sara’s snowshoes when she’s out with her camera!

Credit: Jennifer Ilene,
Deaf photographer

Tamara “Tami” Davidson, webpage creator and video editor
Tami Davidson attended several Deaf schools, such as the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf, while following her stepfather’s military career all over the United States. She is a graduate of National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology with an AAS in Applied Arts and Computer Graphics. She has been freelancing as a graphic artist for years, based in Michigan. Tami and Adonia have been working closely since 1999. Since ASL Rose’s establishment in April 2004, Tami continues to wear many hats. Without her, ASL Rose would not be here today. Opposites attract: Adonia loves dogs while Tami is all about cats!