Author's Note

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A note about the difference between "American Sign Language" and "Signed Exact English."

ASL is the common language of the Deaf community in America. It is not based on English. It is not a "broken" or "simplified" version of any other language. It is its own complete language for people who communicate visually and it includes body position, facial expression, and more.

SEE is English, expressed visually, primarily through the movement of the hands. It is an adaptation of English, not a language unto itself. Because she is being assimilated into a 100% hearing culture, this is closer to what Jax uses. The gloves she received from Donovan were inspired by the real work of University of Washington engineering students, Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor. These types of inventions are invaluable stepping stones toward inclusion for all but would be, by themselves, poor translators of true ASL.

If you're interested in knowing more about Deaf communication and Culture, please seek out answers from those whose Culture it is. They will likely be excited to share the beauty of their world with you.

It is my sincere hope that one thing shines out above all others when you read Jax's story: regardless of her circumstance, Jax's deafness is in no way a disability. It is just one of the many characteristics that make her who she is. As my Deaf friends will tell you, should you dare to ask: Yes! Deaf CAN.

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