It’s September, and Deaf Awareness Month is here again! As a hearing ally, I firmly believe that Deaf Awareness month should center on Deaf people and perspectives.
As a creative arts therapist, I am combining my love of creativity and mental health to bring you Deaf creatives, content creators, and mental health resources. Please consider supporting their work during September and all year long!
Sean Forbes (URLs listed at the bottom of the page in order of appearance) is a Deaf hip-hop artist from Detroit who raps in American Sign Language (ASL) and English. He infuses his Deaf experience—and sick beats—into his songs and music videos, which you can find on his website, iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.
Shaheem Sanchez is a Deaf actor, dancer, and content creator. He is delightful, funny, and educational in sharing his creativity and life experiences with his social media followers. You can join his nearly 1 million followers on Instagram @shaheem, TikTok @shaheemrs or @shaheemsanchez, Facebook @shaheem, Triller @shaheem, and on YouTube as Shaheem Sanchez (URL at the bottom of the page).
Matt Maxey of DEAFinitely Dope (URL at the bottom of the page) is a Deaf performer who does what he calls “visually artistic interpreting for music.” He has done ASL covers of Chance the Rapper, Craig David, 2 Chainz, and more. He is also a motivational speaker and consultant on ASL and minority advancement.
There are also some amazing visual artists out there. Have you ever wanted a cute “ILY” pin or t-shirt in ASL? Don’t fall into the trap of buying ASL-inspired merchandise from a hearing artist or Amazon! Please support Deaf artists and small business owners like Brittany Castle of 58 Creativity (URL at the bottom of the page), Mara Ladines of By Mara (URL at the bottom of the page), and Scott Madsen of Train Gone Design (URL at the bottom of the page).
Finally, mental health is important to everyone, and there are some valuable resources for Deaf people looking for mental health support. National Deaf Therapy (URL at the bottom of the page) has an extraordinary Instagram account posting mental health related content in ASL with English subtitles. And, if you are a Deaf person experiencing a mental health crisis, you can text DEAF to 741741 and be connected with a crisis counselor who is familiar with Deaf culture and a Deaf person’s unique mental health needs.
Even though I am hearing, I am fluent in ASL, knowledgeable about Deaf culture, and passionate about being an ally to the Deaf community both in and out of the therapy room. I am here to provide fully accessible mental health support to Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and DeafBlind individuals. If you are a Deaf person interested in learning more about individual therapy (URL at the bottom of the page) with a therapist like me, contact us (URL at the bottom of the page).
Sean Forbes: https://www.deafandloud.com/
Shaheem Sanchez YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/citieshp415
DEAFinitely Dope: https://www.deafinitelydope.org/
58 Creativity: https://58creativity.com/
By Mara: https://www.bymara.com/
Train Gone Design: https://www.etsy.com/shop/traingonedesign
National Deaf Therapy: https://www.instagram.com/nationaldeaftherapy/?hl=en
Individual therapy: https://www.intouchandmotion.com/counseling-services/individual-psychotherapy-illinois/
Contact us: https://www.intouchandmotion.com/contact/