September is International Deaf Awareness Month! In 1958, the International Day of the Deaf was established. This grew to the International Week of the Deaf during the last week of September annually. Now, September is largely regarded as our month. We have been celebrating all month on our Instagram by sharing our “Deaf People Who Rock” series and various educational posts via our “Woke Wednesday” series. For RoseBYANDER, this month is about celebrating our community and the accomplishments of those within it, educating those outside the community and around us, and spreading the love with our collection of ASL fine jewelry.
We have been rocking all month and are ending it with a bang - with our second feature in the fabulous and inclusive Marie Claire magazine! This week, in honor of International Week of Sign Language, we had a chance to speak with Marie Claire about our statement jewelry with a message. We shared the story of our journey, the compelling conversations, and unexpected experiences that have led to the creation of our meaningful jewelry brand that’s all about inclusivity.
Long before she began creating necklaces with a cause, Alexis Ander Kashar, a Deaf civil rights attorney, built a career advocating for a more accessible society. With three generations of Deaf people in her family, she began her advocacy at the age of 14 fighting for her own accessible education. Through her work as an attorney, and the creation of the first diamond pendant originally designed as a family heirloom, Alexis was amazed by the meaningful conversations with friends and strangers who were curious about her pendant. She soon realized that this tiny bauble was making a big impact, representing the love and harmony that comes from authentic connections. As the founder of RoseBYANDER, our line of statement pieces continues her mission to share the universal symbol of multiple meanings of love.
Our pendants, which feature the ASL symbol for “I Love You,” have opened the doors for us to hear so many amazing stories and connect with people from many different communities. Storytelling has always been a huge part of building relations and an inclusive society. These shared experiences connect us and help us understand each other, and our collection serves as a small, wearable token of that spirit. By wearing a RoseBYANDER pendant, you’re telling others that you’re Deaf, hard of hearing, or an Ally; you’re someone who is inclusive, caring, or that you love the language and the multi-faceted meaning of this sign.
This month, as organizations all around the world are telling the positive aspects of the Deaf and hard of hearing, we encourage you to keep sharing your stories! Whether you’re a member of the Deaf Community or a budding Ally, we’ve got some suggestions on how you can join in the celebration of our Deaf and hard of hearing community.
Be an Advocate
Have a candid conversation with your friends and colleagues and let them know where you’re struggling to communicate so you can find solutions that can help. Oftentimes, barriers only exist because we haven’t even tried to remove them. Technology, social advocacy and awareness are making great improvements to accessibility for the Deaf and hard of hearing, and being your own champion is the best way to foster an inclusive and collaborative community both at work and play. For hearing people, simple things like captioning your videos and making an effort to be more expressive visually when communicating make a world of difference.
Build Awareness in Your Community
Anything you can do to help educate people about the Deaf and hard of hearing, the better understanding we will have for one another. The small things we do today can have lasting impact tomorrow. Get involved by supporting Deaf-led businesses, sharing our educational Instagram posts with interesting and little known facts, or write your local government to point out where they can improve accessibility in your community.
Teach or Learn Sign Language
Even a few signs can go a long way! ASL is a fun to learn and a great way to connect with kids at school, your colleagues and friends. Plus, we bet you already know at least one sign! (Hello, Love Sign Pendant!). There are many great apps you can download on your phone to easily learn some signs. The Deaf community is the largest minority group in the United States, and is massively underrepresented. Doing your part to communicate effectively with this group is just smart!
In closing, we would like to extend 20% off our collection to you! Use code 20FROMALEXIS and happy shopping!