As a linguistic minority, the Deaf community has long faced negligence in communication access in all areas of life, including the arts. These inequities contribute to pervasive language deprivation for Deaf youth, which has only magnified during COVID.
DEAFinitely, Inc. is changing this paradigm.
By unlocking opportunities in the arts for Deaf and hard of hearing youth, DEAFinitely, Inc. is helping to address the pervasive need for social-cultural and -emotional opportunities in
their shared language of ASL. Deaf-to-Deaf mentoring encourages youth to learn about the world and explore topics of positive identity and Deaf gain, which are emphasized through the performing arts to build confidence and self-esteem.
Ultimately, all youth ages 7-22 are empowered to express hopes, dreams and individuality through ASL, mentorship and the performing arts.
Despite diverse cultural, racial and lingual backgrounds, the DYC and Performance Crew exemplify how youth can come together, learn to communicate and have fun through the performing arts. Their connections, both on-stage and off, reframe a new understanding for Boston’s diverse audiences of all ages.
DEAFinitely generates awareness, education and action for
communication equity by encouraging curiosity and debunking myths
around Deafness, disabilities and differences.
Both the Deaf Youth Council (DYC) and Performance Crew are changing the perspectives of communities, including their own families and schools by putting ASL, Deaf culture and communication access in the forefront of the performing arts.
“Deaf and hard of hearing students participate
and perform in DEAFinitely. They increase their
self-esteem and show more confidence.
When they perform in ASL, their faces show freedom.”
~Taki Harris, Lead Deaf Youth Mentor
To empower Deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, deaf-disabled and hearing youth representing multi-lingual, cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity to spark social change through mentoring, dance, the performing arts and American Sign Language (ASL).
To create opportunities for Deaf youth to learn about themselves, their families, their community and the world through dance, ASL storytelling and performance.
To create opportunities for both Deaf and hearing youth to adopt critical thinking skills and learn the benefits of differences.
To boost communication access to world issues through Deaf to Deaf peer mentoring and promote sharing of experiences, hopes and dreams in their shared language of ASL.
To help youth build self-concept, self-esteem, and a deep sense of belonging which can lead to positive choices and dreams about their contributions to the world.