If you were among the millions who watched the Superbowl last weekend, you were also treated to a wonderful performance, as Deaf rapper Warren “Wawa” Snipe performed the national anthem in American Sign Language.
His rendition of the Star Spangled Banner showed the physical eloquence of ASL, how its most adept users create emotion, how at its best, it becomes a dance. You can watch his performance here.
But that Superbowl appearance was just the latest example of the ways in which Deaf culture has entered mainstream America.
Consider the Netflix reality show Deaf U, which follows a group of students at Washington, DC’s Gallaudet University through their dramas and romances.
Or the wonderful ASL rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance at President Biden’s inauguration by Fire Captain Andrea Hall in memory of her Deaf father.
These days it’s rare to see a significant press conference by a politician without a sign language interpreter.
All of this is heartening. But one sad fact remains: for so many people who lose their hearing, the simple remedy of a hearing aid is out of reach, because they are very costly and are almost never covered by insurance.
That’s where you come in. We’re so grateful to you, our supporters, for making our work possible, and making hearing aids accessible to Californians who need them.