Dr. Jana Dreyzehner MD Coordinated the translation of the E-Learning videos into American Sign Language (ASL). Dr. Dreyzehner wrote the following description of the collaboration that made this amazing process possible. Thank you all!

Development of ASL Translation

Our Deaf Services clinical team at Life Connect Health has been using the Skills System® with children and transitional age adults who are deaf since 2020, and we have seen the benefit of their receiving this therapy and gaining skill in their own emotion regulation. In summer of 2022, we set a goal to create wider access to this therapy for ASL users. We realized this would require the creation of an enduring and consistent translated nomenclature and Skills System® training curriculum agreed upon by users of ASL. We asked cultural and linguistic competency experts to join a Consensus Advisory Team (CAT) and had a wonderful group of 21 volunteers.

  • The CAT team consisted of 21 people and included a diversity of races, sexes, ages, and backgrounds: 13 ASL fluent Deaf or HH persons including various dialects/regions of the country, and clinicians / Deaf Interpreters (DI’s) / linguistic experts; 3 CODAs (Children of Deaf Adults so ASL is first language); 1 ASL Qualified Mental Health (QMH) Interpreter; the CEO from Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing who is a linguistics expert, the CEO/Psychiatrist for the Deaf from Life Connect Health, and 2 technical experts for video production.
  • A small group (10 persons) from BridgesDHH met initially after completing the E Learning training in the Skills System online and meeting with the Life Connect Health clinical team. This resulted in a short video of proposed signs for the 9 Skills which provided an important starting point.
  • The larger Consensus Advisory Team then met twice to discuss and agree on signs for each Skill and major concept in order to ensure consistent signs.
  • The BridgesDHH Team then created videos of a Deaf Interpreter (DI) interpreting from the E Learning Course 1 and 2 English captions using the Consensus Team’s signs to be overlaid on the original E Learning videos by the Life Connect Health Technical Lead.
  • The result is an ASL option for ASL users who would like to complete the Skills System E-Learning Courses.

Special thanks to Nancy Denning-Martin and her team from Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing including Mike Helms, the featured Deaf Interpreter for these videos, and Mimi Fondren (BridgesDHH) and John Dreyzehner (Technical Lead for Life Connect Health) for their many hours of technical work creating these videos.

Consensus Advisory Team:

Life Connect Health

Whitney Cleek, deaf; Life Connect Health Therapist and CAT Lead
Jana Dreyzehner MD, hearing; Life Connect Health CEO, Psychiatrist for Deaf, Skills System Co-therapist
Karen Goldberg MD, HH; Life Connect Health Psychiatrist for Deaf
Cathi Blickenstaff, deaf; Life Connect Health Deaf Peer Support Specialist
John Dreyzehner, hearing; Technical Lead for Life Connect Health

Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Nancy Denning-Martin, hearing; CEO BridgesDHH and Linguistics expert
Mike Helms, deaf; Vice President of Adult Education & Outreach, BridgesDHH
Eric Workman, hearing; QMH Interpreter, Vice President of Interpreting, BridgesDHH
Jackie Jones, deaf; Youth Coordinator at BridgesWEST
Kim Jordan, deaf; Interpreter for BridgesDHH
Mike Knott, deaf; BridgesDHH Board Chair, teacher
Brenda Cash, CODA; Certified ASL interpreter and Director of BridgesWEST
Char Skulley, deaf; Interpreter for Bridges, Social Worker
Tracy Smith, deaf/HH; BridgesDHH Social Worker, Empowerment Manager
Daniel Timlen, deaf; Deaf Educator
Mimi Fondren LMSW, hearing; Director of Development for Bridges, video coordinator/lead

TN Schools for the Deaf

Dr. Josh Weinstein; deaf; TN School for the Deaf, Psychologist
Jessica McMahon; deaf; TN School for the Deaf, Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Heidi Jordan; CODA; TN School for the Deaf, Chief Compliance Officer

Ashlee Schmidt MA, NCC, LPCC; Deaf; MN Mental Health Specialist
Tobias Wilde MSW, LICSW; CODA; MN Therapist