The Signing Jesus
A Painting of The Savior Communicating in Sign Language
I just completed an oil painting I call "The Signing Jesus". My young deaf granddaughter and my grandson that signs ( as his parents are both deaf) posed for the painting. The little girl behind them in the painting is hearing, but has downs syndrome and is learning sign language to help her language development. I also included a little baby girl from my church (sitting on the Savior's lap) who was also born deaf. She is learning sign language at her early age from her mother, who is an interpreter for the deaf. I am so grateful the Savior understands all our prayers--in all languages--and, as I have never before found a painting of Jesus with the deaf signing, I decided to paint one myself.
The Importance of Early Sign Language For Deaf Children
There are many different sign languages all over the world. I wish there were only one universal sign language, but it will probably never happen. They have tried to create one--but it is still not recognized by most deaf as their primary language--most prefer their own national sign language. My granddaughter, who is deaf, is in the 5th grade and uses ASL as her primary language and English as a second language. She is reading at or above grade level now--as she learned sign language from her mother as a baby and English later, as a second language. Most deaf children are not as fortunate, because over 90 percent have hearing parents and many never teach them sign language at an early age---some never learn sign language themselves. Statistics have shown that most deaf children, after graduation from high school, only read at a 4th grade level. This is why I set up a non-profit company to produce books and DVDs in ASL for deaf children and their families---given to any free of charge. Hopefully, one day this will make a difference. The money from the sale of any of the prints of this painting will go to this non-profit company, SLCLC, to provide these materials for deaf children.