Advancing early language acquisition for deaf children through quality educational programming in American Sign Languagengs.
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.
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.
Give to ASL Friends!
Join us in our mission to advance early language acquisition for deaf children through quality educational programming in American Sign Language.