ASLdeafined Weekly Newsletter- Hurricane Florence, Beethoven, and more!

ASLdeafined Weekly Newsletter – 9/14/18


Flanked by N.C. Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry to his immediate left, other state officials and a sign language interpreter, Gov. Roy Cooper describes expected impacts from Hurricane Florence during a press conference Tuesday in Raleigh in this image taken from a UNC-TV livestream of the event.

Photo of Gov. Roy Cooper during Tuesday’s press conference, featuring an ASL Interpreter on the right. (via Citizen Times)

Hurricane Florence Will Hit Shores Today

More than a million people across three states on the east coast have been issued a mandatory evacuation and it’s no surprise: Hurricane Florence is expected to bring storm surges higher than eight feet tall and may be the most dangerous hurricane to hit the Carolina coastline in decades. The states of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina have all declared States of Emergency and encouraged people to get out while they can since early this week. 

Luckily for the deaf communities in these states, the interpreters seem to be holding up to the necessary standards. Several videos featured on the news are showing quality interpreters, including the interpreter used during Gov. Roy Cooper’s press conference on Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina. We are happy to see that this is being taken seriously and that appropriate action has been made to ensure the safety of the deaf communities on the east coast, especially after the horrendous situation during Hurricane Irma last year (where a grossly unqualified interpreter fumbled through a press conference in Manatee County, Florida).

We hope that the residents of the east coast are well prepared and wish them luck as they take on Hurricane Florence. 


Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820

Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820

Deaf History Spotlight: Ludwig van Beethoven

One of the most famous individuals with hearing loss in all of history is composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who lost his hearing mysteriously in his twenties. His accomplishments are vast and remembered, including 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, and even an opera. He originally studied under Haydn and focused on performance, eventually earning a reputation as an improviser, and was funded by several individuals that saw his early potential while in Vienna. He was also said to have quite the attitude, refusing to play for patrons who talked during his performances and never playing upon spontaneous request. 

Upon losing his hearing he faced several challenges, as he could no longer hear his music with the same magnitude. While he never stopped composing music he struggled to perform his pieces: He failed trying to perform his own symphony The Emperor and did not perform again for thirteen years (and only gave cues to the director of the orchestra performing his piece). 

In order to communicate, Beethoven’s friends and family wrote down their conversations in books. Beethoven would read the pages and then respond accordingly either in writing or orally and did not seem to reduce his social circle. These conversation books (of which less than half survived) contained discussions about everyday matters, politics, and (of course) music.


Good Luck, From ASLdeafined

We hope you’ve had a great start to the new school year! Don’t forget that ASLdeafined has added some new features, including:

-Location and Handshape activities
-Fingerspelling activities
-Stories & Jokes (featuring Cassie Simmons – Deaf comedian)
-Increase video dictionary to over 16,000 words
-New lessons and activities
-Synonyms and word variations
-Requested word feature – All of the words that you request will show up on your Dashboard. Once filled, it will move over to your completed words section.
-Iphone & Android App (just search: ASLdeafined)
-Teacher Resource Folder
-Export all of our students data easily. 

As always, our rate is $12/year per student for the #1 online ASL curriculum. 

If you have any feedback, or questions regarding our curriculum, please email us at We would love to hear from you!


Handshape of the Week – H!

The H-handshape involves holding the index and middle fingers together, pointing to the side. See the H-handshape in the sign for HURRICANE below:


Other signs that use the H-handshape include: