There are a lot of colorful animated illustrations, music, and signed videos in the DVDs, each of which is centered around a specific topic such as feelings, food, or farm animals. In each DVD, Coleman greets the audience and introduces the topic by signing and speaking at the same time. She then breaks out in song and continues signing. Because she signs and speaks at the same time, her facial expressions and ASL grammar are compromised. They are not accurate or clear.
Several signs are different from how Deaf people would sign them. It may be due to regional differences or to the fact that Coleman is not a native signer. The colorful tape on the signers' fingers may help viewers learn what hand shapes to use for certain words, but it might also be distracting.
The DVDs show quick video clips of both hearing and deaf children signing the focus word repeatedly. This is great for hearing children learning new signs, but not so great for Deaf children who already know these signs. Further, Deaf babies might enjoy the repetition throughout the DVDs, but the music and lyrics in the background along with the spoken explanations on how to produce these signs make these products rather inaccessible to them.
The Signing Time! Series is delightful, especially for children and adults who can hear.
In a nutshell:
- Simultaneous communication (Sim-com) is used. Sign language vocabulary words and facial expressions are not always accurate.
- Topics selected for the DVDs are great for day-to-day living.
- A lot of additional information and relevant words are only spoken, not signed, putting deaf children are at a disadvantage.
- This is great for hearing people learning to sign.
- Series 1, Vol. 1: My First Signs
- Series 1, Vol. 2: Leah’s Farm
- Series 1, Vol. 12: Time to Eat
- Series 2, Vol 6: Days of the Week
- Director: Emilie de Azevedo Brown
- Signers: Rachel Coleman, Alex Brown, & Leah Coleman
- Producer: Two Little Hands Productions
- Amazon Video
- Digital Subscription (on tablets)
- More materials are found on the website: activity sheets, flashcards, etc.