In celebration of Deaf Awareness Month, Inclusively has taken a meaningful initiative by developing a unique (American Sign Language) ASL name sign. This fresh addition to our brand identity is not just a symbol; it’s a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and collaboration. We are delighted to share the journey and process behind Inclusively’s new ASL name sign, which was made possible through a close collaboration with Alex Tenney, an accomplished Deaf Interpreter.
Meet Alex Tenney: The Expert Behind Inclusively’s New ASL Name Sign
Alex Tenney, a Deaf Interpreter, faced a life-changing experience at age 5 when spinal meningitis resulted in the loss of her hearing. After undergoing intensive recovery in Jackson, she moved to Mobile, AL. Here, she immersed herself in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture at the Regional School for the Deaf and Blind, now Callahan School.
For the creation of Inclusively’s ASL name sign, Alex collaborated with fellow Deaf Interpreter, Rachel Rich. Together, they researched and crafted a sign representing the essence of Inclusively. “We aimed for a sign that resonates with the company’s ethos, combining values and aesthetic appeal,” remarks Alex. With her deep understanding of ASL and personal experience, Alex was the perfect individual to introduce Inclusively’s new sign to our community and beyond.
Understanding Deaf Culture:
Name signs are more than mere tags. “Name signs are used to identify people in the Deaf community. There’s a strong cultural history in giving name signs,” Alex explains. In Deaf Culture, it’s a cherished tradition and an honor to receive a name sign, typically bestowed by someone within the community based on personality or sometimes appearance.
Deciding on Design Elements:
Alex took a deep dive into Inclusively’s values and mission to devise the name sign. She explains, “After meeting with some of Inclusively’s staff and understanding their emphasis on inclusion, I combined the ASL sign for ‘inclusive’ and ‘worldwide’ to come up with the sign for Inclusively.” Reflecting on our company’s mission, Alex wanted the sign to embody the values of being welcoming, open, and accommodating to all.
Breaking Down the Name Sign:
The name sign isn’t just a set of movements but encapsulates the essence of Inclusively. Alex highlights that the flow of the sign symbolizes “inclusion for all.” Every nuance, from the position of fingers to their movement, mirrors Inclusively’s mission and our drive for disability inclusion, progress, and serving all communities.
- The name sign starts with all the fingers touching each other, symbolizing the inclusion that Inclusively provides, then it moves counterclockwise to an open hand, symbolizing the individuals that you serve, meaning everyone, worldwide!
A Personal Note from Alex:
When asked about the importance of disability inclusion and employment, Alex offers a personal perspective, “As a person with hearing loss, I rely on accommodations from others. Everyone deserves a fair chance to work and have a sense of purpose, regardless of disability/cultural differences/gender.”
For those eager to learn more about Deaf Culture, Alex recommends the book “Deaf Utopia” by Nyle DiMarco. It’s not just about sign language; diving into Deaf Culture reveals rich histories and fascinating facts, like the invention of the football huddle by a Deaf football player, Paul Hubbard. Also, Alex will be sharing more details on her virtual ASL classes starting in January 2024. Topics covered include the proper way to interview and insights about accommodations for both job seekers and employers. Stay tuned for more soon!
We thank Alex for her insights and expertise, and for giving Inclusively a beautiful representation in ASL. If you’re interested in learning more about how Inclusively – and the new Retain can support your career efforts, book a demo or contact us today.