Deaf Coach Now in ASL
DCN Video in ASL
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 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 walking two young Australian Shepherds, Baylee and Flournoy along with her elderly DeafBlind Border Collie, Charm, greeting them when they get home.
Tamara “Tami” Davidson, illustrator, layout editor, 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. 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!
Mario Hernandez, ASL presenter
Mario Hernandez, better known as MannyASL, is a seasoned ASL storyteller and is very much a natural storyteller for children as well. MannyASL, a Brooklyn native, knows how to establish rapport with children of all ages instantly and make them laugh with his wide eyed antics. He is an expert in translating the text into the ASL register children and adults can understand, especially when he demonstrates links between ASL, the pictures and English print in the book. He also teaches children and adults how to create stories in ASL, one that combines both motion and emotion; how to develop their interest in sharing ASL stories of their own; how to improve their rhythm and clarity of intent. So they can see what the story means making the literacy event more enjoyable. MannyASL and Raymond Luczak, ( www.raymondluczak.com ) the film maker, website designer, author, poet and an agent, together developed a DVD called Manny ASL: Stories in American Sign Language. MannyASL received his BA in Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University and completed in Sign Language Education. Currently, he teaches ASL at the Catholic University of America and provides advanced workshops in ASL storytelling for children and adults. His motto is storytelling ignites the power of knowledge. He lives in Washington DC with his family.
James DeBee, ASL glossary videographer
James DeBee is the founder of DeBee Communications, Inc. that produces documentaries and educational videotapes. He holds degrees in Radio, Television and Film from California State University, Northridge, Media Communications Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, New York. He has an M.S. in Educational Technology Management and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. DeBee has over twenty years of video/film experience with all technical aspects of video production. He has worked in many capacities such as producer, director, writer, editor, lighting director, photographer, media specialist, and executive producer at numerous companies such as KTLA5, Beyond Sound, Group W Cable, Silent Network, Hollywood, California, Western PA School for the Deaf and Communication Service for the Deaf. Mr. DeBee garnered two “ACE” awards, the National Cable Television Association’s Emmy, in 1985, as best television series for special audiences, and in 1986, outstanding programming achievement for The Los Angeles Club for the Deaf Story documentary depicting the rise and fall of a wellknown deaf club. He is a writer. Director and producer of the American Sign Language Video Series. His numerous production work includes Vista’s Signing Naturally Level II, American Sign Language Literature Series, Mouth Morphemes, GLAD of, by & for Deaf People, Protect Yourself, A Basic Guide to Self Defense, Fingerspelling Fluency, Self Defense: Women Teaching Women, Once Upon A Time Children’s Classics, “World Beyond Sound” (129 shows, National Cable Network) and other programs. He has also produced numerous commercials for companies such as Sprint. DeBee produced, wrote, directed, and starred in a TV show called “FYE” (For Your Eyes), a bi-weekly CSD-TV magazine providing a blend of investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of deaf and hard of hearing people in the news.
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 in 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!