NORMAN, Oklahoma – An Oklahoma meteorologist is making forecasting more accessible and inspiring the next generation of meteorologists along the way.
Mikayla Smith launched “Signing Science with Smith”, a prediction featuring American Sign Language.
The freelance weekend weatherman for KXII, a CBS and FOX affiliate in Sherman, Texas, said she’s always had a soft spot for the hard of hearing and deaf community. And since social media often lacks closed captions or accurate captions, she felt the need to start talking about the weather in ASL and incorporate it into her weather.
“I was expecting maybe, you know, a few likes and shares, and I was absolutely blown away,” Smith said.
Smith said she’s happy to see the impact and hopes this new trend will start to spread, helping other communities that don’t necessarily get the news and weather normally.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders, one in eight people in the United States aged 12 or older – about 30 million – have hearing loss in both ears, based on hearing tests. standard.
Smith acquired her passion for sign language after being introduced to it at a young age when her mother went to college for special education.
She started learning ASL in seventh grade and said she was lucky to continue her senior year.
While Smith said she will continue her live predictions, she hopes “Signing Science with Smith” will become its own segment.
“I will continue to post things on social media and on my YouTube and TikTok page,” Smith said.
Smith said she’s already been contacted by dozens of meteorologists, wanting to learn ASL and asking where to start. She hopes her social media presence will be a starting point for others to come and learn a few signs here or there.
“Maybe it will spark a passion in them too,” Smith said.
And hopefully it will inspire much more communication in many languages, including sign language.
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