Before she even spoke her first word, Madison Lotane was already able to communicate most of her wants and needs to her parents.
That’s because Madi’s dad, Zach Lotane, is deaf and communicates only in American Sign Language.
Zach and his wife Courtney have been teaching ASL to Madi since birth. She has already learned over 20 words in sign language, and she’s picking up both spoken English and ASL with ease. Zach said he absolutely adores being her dad, and he’s happy to share his language with her and open her world to all kinds of people.
“I enjoy reading books with her, watching her sign, feeding her. I love watching her grow,” the doting dad added.
The Lotane family has since found a way to spread their love of ASL and their message of acceptance and diversity to a much larger audience. They’ve been sharing videos of their daily life, including teaching Madi how to sign in tandem with learning to speak, and their social media sites are on fire!
“Really, our social media has inspired so many people to learn sign language,” Zach said. “They’ve taken an ASL class in their high school or community college or university, and then also, we’ve provided resources and support for hearing parents who have deaf children or deaf babies.”
The couple’s popular TikTok page, for example, has more than 2 million devoted followers.
Their videos of Madi discovering the world around her are encouraging others to dream big for their own children who are deaf or who have partial hearing loss. People just love seeing ASL used to seamlessly blend the hearing and deaf worlds!
“My dream and hopes for Madison really is that she’ll be able to be successful in whatever she wants to do in life,” Zach said. “And that we’re able to give her all the tools to support her in her growth, and that she’ll have exposure to diversity, to different people. That she’ll be able to travel the world. I want her to be able to connect with different types of people, and also to accept herself.”
Madison is well on her way to living a bilingual life, and she’s not even a year old yet! This family is increasing the level of acceptance and inclusion for the deaf community everywhere. Also… Madi is just plain adorable!
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