From a veteran who lost his hearing while overseas, to parents of deaf children, thousands of people each day rely on Signing Savvy to help them better communicate with their loved ones and the world.
Since it’s founding, Signing Savvy has helped over 8 million users learn to communicate in American Sign Language. The company provides tools to enhance sign language education and assist in day-to-day sign language.
Jillian Winn, a co-founder, says, “Signing Savvy’s audience is anyone that wants to learn sign language.”
Signing Savvy started as a “garage” startup by Jillian, her husband Brian, and her business partner John Miller. They worked on the company in the evenings, after work. Originally inspired by work Brian had done years earlier at MSU, they took the new and innovative idea of video on the web and started creating the signing videos they needed in their home. Now Signing Savvy is Jillian’s day job and she has a full-time staff. But, she says, “Our dreams and goals for Signing Savvy are always growing.”
Much of their growth can be attributed to the attention they give to the feedback they receive from their users. “Stories and requests from users really motivate us,” says Jillian. It’s these requests that led to an increase in their Facebook content and blogs. Since language is constantly evolving, so is the culture around sign language and the hard of hearing. Their weekly articles address topics in deaf culture and their Facebook page shares the site’s “Sign of the Day.” All of these techniques allow them to really connect with their users.
As they continue to innovate and grow Signing Savvy into the best possible sign language learning resource, they are reaching out to new audiences. They’ve recently partnered with WonderGrove Kids, created by the CEO and Producer of the Rugrats, to provide a whole new set of learning tools. Each animated video will teach important lessons, while keywords are signed in the corner. “We’re really excited,” says Winn, “We hope to share these animated lessons with teachers and young students across the country.”
While their past focus has been on creating a resource for new learners of sign language, they’ve recently begun increasing their focus on developing content for advanced signers, creating better tools for teachers, and creating more engaging and informative content.
American Sign Language is is constantly evolving, yet Signing Savvy remains a leader when it comes to using resources to learn the language. There are many challenges that arise from the content and technology of sign language, but Signing Savvy stays on top of these not by focusing on the competition in the industry, but rather on what their users want. As a result, Signing Savvy is one of the most comprehensive and easiest to use sign language resources available. Given their track record, we expect it will be for some time to come.