Programs & Services
The Whole Family
Helping families of children who need sign language skills.
How does a child who is deaf, hard of hearing or nonverbal due to other conditions such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or childhood Apraxia learn to communicate?
Sign language skills can provide a much-needed solution. The Whole Family Project offers free sign language instruction to help families better communicate with their children.
The Goal of The Whole Family
Through individualized instruction in sign language, The Whole Family Project seeks to increase the ability of families to communicate with their children who are deaf or nonverbal, while increasing their knowledge and understanding of deafness, the deaf community and available options for their children.
Who Are We?
Established in 1999, The Whole Family Project is a program of The Whole Person, a nonprofit agency that helps people with disabilities to live independently and encourages change within the community to expand opportunity for independent living.
The Whole Family Project employs tutors with a wide variety of sign language experience and backgrounds. Tutors may be interpreters, family members of a deaf individual or deaf themselves.
How Does It Work?
The Whole Family Project provides qualified tutors to work with individual families. These tutors will tailor the lessons to meet the unique communication needs of each family. (Please note: Individuals fluent in sign language are encouraged to inquire about tutoring possibilities.)
The Whole Family Project also maintains a library of additional resources that can be checked out through the family tutors. This includes sign language textbooks, Autism Spectrum and dictionaries and books on deaf culture, as well as a collection of videotapes of popular children's stories and movies that are simultaneously signed and instructional videos in American Sign Language.
The Whole Family Project can draw upon the resources of The Whole Person for other services such as referral, advocacy and community education.
“This is an important resource for families who can't afford to hire private tutors. Before The Whole Family Project, Kieran could not communicate. Now he can. This is very liberating for our son.”
–Moses Artis, father