Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have two sets of parents. With one set of parents, I communicate by speaking. With my aunt and uncle, however, I have come to appreciate another form of communication: Sign Language.
My aunt and uncle experienced hearing loss early on in their lives, and are deaf in both ears. They have lived with me for over two decades, and I did not realize the importance of their form of communication until my teenage years.
One time, my uncle and I were checking out a few items from the grocery store, and I got an alert on my phone regarding breaking news for the Yankees game that day. I immediately turned to my uncle, a die-hard baseball fan, telling him the news.
Quickly, I noticed eyes drawn into our conversation. The cashier curiously asked questions as to what we were saying and actually tried signing along with us. It was at this moment, at the grocery store, that I realized that the way I communicate with my uncle was only second nature to me, not my surroundings.
Using sign language in that public setting made me realize how unique my relationship was with my uncle as well as how exclusive our form of communication is. From that cool encounter between us and the cashier, I wanted to create an experience for Hearing individuals to communicate well with the Deaf community through American Sign Language.
Hi, my name is Wali Mahmood, Founder of Deaf Apparel. Throughout my life, both my aunt and uncle have taught me sign language and instilled the notion to teach others as well.
Our goal is to create an inclusive environment for both Deaf and Hearing communities through our Custom ASL apparel. We want to spark the curiosity of individuals who have little to no knowledge of Deaf Culture through our apparel. We believe it is very possible to narrow the gap between the Deaf and Hearing worlds, and we are so excited to be doing that!