Curated Story
Melissa Malzkuhn
Source: Ashoka

Deaf Culture, Deaf Creatives, And The Quest For Language Exposure

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Melissa Malzkuhn started Motion Light Lab to create sign language learning and literacy resources for Deaf children—using emerging technology and storytelling. Melissa, who is third-generation Deaf, comes from a line of storytellers. Her grandmother, a pioneering Deaf rights advocate, inspired her journey as a changemaker, creative force, and advocate for language literacy. Ashoka’s Kennedy Patlan spoke with Melissa about her journey and some of the opportunities on the horizon to harness new tech for learning, expression, employment, and narrative change.

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Ashoka insight

I came to lead the creation of the world’s first bilingual storybook app, designed with research principles, to support literacy development in deaf children. Through creating The Baobab (our first storybook app), I pulled people together, and this process strengthened a creative synergy into something bigger — a lab, a team, and a R&D directive. Since then, we’ve created over 20 storybook apps, and worked with teams around the globe.

Incredibly talented Deaf people are everywhere, but they lack opportunities to grow. Motion Light Lab is bringing profoundly talented Deaf people to the table — to the benefit of all.