“Ben Signs: A New School Adventure” tells the heartwarming story of Ben, a young boy who is deaf, as he navigates his first day of kindergarten and makes new friends. Through beautifully illustrated pages and an easy-to-follow narrative, the storybook effortlessly weaves in lessons on empathy, friendship, and basic sign language phrases, such as “Hello,” “Thank you,” and “My name is,” which children can use to communicate with their deaf classmates.

ProCare Therapy developed “Ben Signs: A New School Adventure” in response to the need for accessible and engaging resources to help children better understand and appreciate the experiences of their deaf peers. The storybook aims to create an inclusive environment where all students feel valued, understood, and supported.

“Ben Signs: A New School Adventure” is designed to be shared and is available for free to parents and educators in a digital format, making it easily accessible for children on various devices. Flip through or download the storybook below and join Ben on his exciting journey to make new friends.

Ben Signs: A New School Adventure 

Why We Created the Storybook

There are 395,548 children with a hearing disability in the United States. However, with estimations that only 19% of the 51,030 employed sign language interpreters work in schools, children with hearing disabilities exceed employed school interpreters and translators at a ratio of 41 to 1.

While the country has made great strides towards inclusivity and access to disability services in the educational setting, many schools still have limited access to crucial school professionals like sign language interpreters and translators. When students lack the ability to communicate during the school day, they can miss out on quality time communicating and developing alongside their peers. Having trouble making friends, communicating during lunchtime, participating fully in the classroom, and playing during recess or other recreational activities are just some challenges faced by children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

To raise awareness for inclusive communication, ProCare Therapy collaborated with school sign language interpreters and teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing to share Ben’s story and encourage children to learn some sign language so that everyone can understand, communicate, develop, and play alongside each other.

Benefits of Learning Sign Language

While learning sign language yourself or teaching sign language to young children benefits your community by helping others, like Ben, feel welcomed and understood, learning ASL presents numerous benefits to the individual as well.

  1. Benefits Brain Health

Learning a new language is beneficial for brain health, and sign language is no different. Throughout the process of learning sign language, the areas of the brain used become more resilient. Learning sign language enhances your cognitive function, which can benefit your creativity, memory, critical thinking, response time, mental skills, and more. 

  1. Opens Opportunities

The Deaf community encompasses roughly 28 million people in the U.S.—and learning sign language allows you to communicate with the members of this community. Similar to those who can speak more than one language, the ability to sign a language opens doors to an abundance of opportunities for both adults and children. Some of these include job opportunities, more friends and social groups, or new hobbies.

  1. You’ll Acquire More Skills & Abilities

While understanding sign language is a skill in itself, it also allows you to build new abilities. Decades of studies continuously show that those who learn sign language grow their non-verbal communication skills, listening skills, peripheral vision, reaction time, cultural understanding, spelling skills, small motor skills, and senses.

At ProCare Therapy, we are passionate about providing resources that not only educate but also inspire empathy and understanding in children. We believe that “Ben Signs: A New School Adventure” will help children connect with their deaf peers, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity in classrooms and beyond.

From school sign-language interpreters to speech-language pathologists, we are always looking for professionals who want to have a positive impact on students nationwide. If you’re passionate about helping children like Ben reach their full potential and dedicated to ensuring all children, regardless of abilities, enjoy their school adventures, ProCare invites you to explore our wide variety of school job openings. Browse and apply today!