The Signing Ecosystem

Increasing the quality of life for all people from deaf/hard of hearing communities around the globe.

Combating Disparities and Growing Together

Goals of the Signing Ecosystem campaign


Increasing awareness of the value and the benefits of investing in deaf/hard of hearing people and the Signing Ecosystem.


Celebrate Deaf culture; American Sign Language; institutions, and organizations that have embraced and found the significance of ASL and deaf people.

Diversity and Inclusion

Challenge the disability framework as an important step to truly advancing diversity and inclusion.


Foster opportunities for deaf/hard of hearing in the workplace in both ASL and English-based economies.

Communities That Stand Together as One

Fostering economic growth in the #SigningEcosystem.

An Open Letter in ASL

To Tim Cook CEO,
Apple Inc.

We are thrilled to see this partnership grow with Apple, and Apple’s commitment to accessibility and hiring diverse people, including our students and our alumni who work at the store.

Procter & Gamble

Everyone is welcome to the #SigningEcosystem

When more employers like Procter & Gamble recognize and invest not only in our students, but the #SigningEcosystem, everyone wins!

Gesture Literacy Knowledge studio

Turning imagination
into reality

Over 7,000 languages are spoken. Over 300 different sign languages are used. Imagine if deaf children had full access to visual communication from birth. Imagine if parents had a more natural way to ease into visual communication with their deaf child.

Gestures are the building blocks of sign language. The Gesture Literacy Knowledge studio embraces gestural communication as one of the essential pathways to expand human communication ecosystems.

About the Campaign

The Signing Ecosystem, a concept first proposed by Gallaudet University in 2019, envisions  a community of people interacting and connecting with one another through visual and tactile languages, known collectively as signed languages.

There are several components that make up the overall Signing Ecosystem concept, including but not limited to the ASL community; bilingualism (ASL and English); the Deaf community and Deaf culture; Deaf-owned businesses and deaf-run organizations; Deaf Space;businesses and organizations investing in deaf people and/or the Gallaudet community.

The #SigningEcosystem Campaign aims to combat disparities among deaf and hard of hearing people face as compared to their hearing counterparts. The campaign highlights and promotes the Signing Ecosystem with the overall intention and goal to create a better quality of life for all people in the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Signing Ecosystem is a concept of a community of people interacting and connecting with each other through visual and tactile languages, known as signed languages.

Some examples of a Signing Ecosystem are:

  • Deaf and hard of hearing-run businesses (Deaf Ecosystem); e., Streetcar 82 Brewing Co., Mozzeria, Crepe Crazy, Lost River Vacations, Kramer Wealth Managers, etc.
  • Educational institutions looking to add ASL programs to their curriculum, or considering the integration of a true bilingual teaching curriculum. Businesses or other institutions interested in incorporating sign language-friendly or Deaf spaces to their buildings.
  • Businesses and corporations that find the value of the signing community as both customers and employers in adding deaf and hard of hearing people’s keen skills to the workforce. Businesses can integrate into the signing ecosystem by offering internships, jobs, and sign-friendly workspaces to deaf and hard of hearing people.

Gallaudet University, considered a hub for deaf people, is the only university designated for deaf and hard of hearing students. Gallaudet practices bilingual teaching and learning, employs hundreds of deaf and hard of hearing people, and

The Signing Starbucks in Washington, D.C. remodeled their H Street, NEstore to include elements of Deaf Space and culture. A lot of materials feature ASL concepts and the artwork was created  by deaf people. The store employs deaf people, many of whom are Gallaudet students and graduates.

Apple Store at Carnegie Library, Apple’s newest flagship store, located in Washington, D.C., employs over 20 deaf and hard of hearing people team members with full-time on-site ASL interpreters for their deaf and hard of hearing staff members and to provide access to their free daily instructional sessions for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Though similar in principle, the difference between the Deaf and Signing Ecosystems is that the Signing Ecosystem is meant to be more inclusive of all in the signing community, including their employers, friends, and educator colleagues.

The Signing Ecosystem embraces those who are already associated, while reaching out to those who can benefit while expanding the community through the idea of embracing inclusionism.

The Signing Ecosystem brings awareness to deaf and hard of hearing people and sign languages, cultivates opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people, and advances the lives of deaf and hearing people on a broader scale.

Find unique ways to become more mindful and inclusive of deaf and hard of hearing people. Become more aware of what deaf and hard of hearing people and American Sign Language have to offer, as well as their inherent value and benefits. Reach out to us at Gallaudet for more information or a consultation.

Interested in learning more about the Signing Ecosystem or Gallaudet University?

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Increasing the quality of life for all people from deaf/hard of hearing communities around the globe.

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© 2020 THE SIGNING ECOSYSTEM by Gallaudet University