Mikayla Smith may be a senior at Oklahoma University, but she’s already advocating for positive change in her career as a meteorologist.
It all started in seventh grade when her mom, who was a special education teacher at the time, inspired her to learn sign language. Through years of learning what she calls a beautiful language, she’s become aware of the challenges the deaf community faces when trying to stay up to date on breaking news or the weather. Even though closed captioning is helpful, it’s often unavailable or inaccurate, especially when using a phone.
To combat this issue, Mikayla started using sign language as she gives her weather reports! She said she’s a little rusty and she’s making sure to do the research needed to be a better ally, but in the meantime, she’s already making great strides toward accessibility for all! That includes encouraging others, especially fellow meteorologists, to learn some sign language, too.
Watch one of Mikayla’s weather reports in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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