I have always believed in signs. I have also always believed that if we all spoke the same unspoken language we could dance around wars and confrontations. I also believe in aliens and fairies but that is another story.
So here is the correlation to the above claims: Recently, something relatively alien to me was presented in the form of the ultimate unspoken language, sign language. I had always had a fascination with it and throughout my 579 years on this planet I have dabbled in picking up words and phrases especially after my daughter was born. But this time it was different. Why? Because of the person connected to it, Anne Reuss.
When I had heard of Anne it was through a mutual friend on Twitter who believed in a project that Anne was working on where she was trying to encourage companies to create branding signs for their corporate identities and talking about it and posting the results on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. Oh, did I happen to mention that Anne is deaf? Well, she is. She has been since before she was two years old.
So many people have this misconception that being deaf is a handicap. It’s a setback, sure but anything can be a handicap if you allow it to. Deafness, blindness, a twisted ankle, get the drift? It’s how we deal with it and make it work to our advantage. Having fallen into social media by chance, Anne found a voice in social media that many others in her arena may have not. She’s challenged others to adapt to her way just as she was adapting to our way, language wise.
Let me make this clear, Anne is not trying to make or create a new American sign language but rather help introduce people to a non verbal communication and assist in the evolution of the language. As far as generating interest? Well it appears to be working and I for one am a convert! She has inspired me and I hope to inspire others through her words. I would pay good money to see Anne speaking at a #140 Conference! Also, let me note, people who are deaf shouldn’t be pigeonholed into working in just the deaf community but the world market!
Anne is mover and shaker in a community that has had some fantastic doors open to them thanks to social media. People who are deaf can communicate with each other not just in hand scripted letters or in person anymore. The walls have been brought down thanks to Skype, where the deaf in different parts of the planet can chat where they could not before. Through Twitter, YouTube and Facebook opportunities has branched to bring awareness that there are 70,000,000 deaf people on the planet, isn’t it time we started to learn the language folks? We teach it to our children when they are babies right? Shouldn’t we encourage them to continue learning sign language?
Another hip-hip hooray for social media folks! It’s allowing amazing game changers and influencers like Anne to further our development as humans and use this amazing tool for more than broadcasting the fact we are clipping our toenails at that moment or spewing hate through cyberbullying.
So, I’m challenging you, just as Anne did me, to embrace sign language and to even create a sign or gesture that best represents your business identity and brand. It doesn’t matter if you’re Exxon, the pizza joint on the corner or a toothpick factory. Do it!
Anne, I gotta hand it to you (literally) YOU are an ambassador of change. You are part of the future evolution of Social Media.
For more info on Anne Reuss, click on her website here to learn more about her Signs For Startups concept. http://annereuss.com/eyesocial-challenge/
And Thanks Anne for these lovely post :) "Twitter & Circus Trees"
And now…Some signs of the times…