MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– Covid-19 has made communicating more difficult for those who are deaf as masks block facial expressions and lip-reading. However, last Sunday, a local ULM graduate launched a virtual ASL learning program that could help locals communicate better.
Verbal communication is not the only way to communicate. Tracee Albert, a ULM graduate, is an advocate for the deaf community and wants to spread the importance of learning sign language right here in our own backyard.
“The least we can do is learn the alphabet so this way they can feel included cause everyone just wants to feel seen, they want to feel heard, even if they don’t have the words to say what they want,” said Tracee Albert, Founder of “Feel Seen.”
While COVID-19 has changed the way things work, Albert didn’t let that stop her mission. She created an all virtual business called “Feel Seen” to teach locals ASL so they can communicate with our local deaf community.
“Both of my parents are deaf, so I grew up learning sign language. I really just wanted to do something that I like, like a new hobby, but then it turned into something way bigger. I just kept going and going and I was like “let’s just make this a huge business” and I just started from there,” said Albert.
Albert says her virtual classes are geared towards people who may or may not know someone who is deaf, but still wants to learn. She is teaching how to sign basic words like “hello” and “thank you” to simple phrases like “what is your name?” However, learning sign language could also be beneficial to children.
“Parents who may have a child with Autism or they are just verbally delayed or parents who want their child to learn it,” said Albert.
She says learning how to sign is a step closer to bridging the gap between the hearing and deaf community.
“Just if you ever see someone in the community and you want to say something, you can at least say hey so they can at least feel included,” said Albert.
Feel Seen also has 3 $1,000 scholarships available. One is for a full-time ULM student within any medical program, another for a senior at Vidalia High School, and the last one is for a student with one or more deaf or hard of hearing parents. To see more information, click here.