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International Community of Creators With Hearing Differences

Antoinette Abbamonte

Brooklyn, New York native, Deaf from birth and raised in a Deaf family, Antoinette was accepted as the first Deaf student at the renowned American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

Since then she has performed on numerous stages around the country. Also, the owner and founder of Mermaid Signature Production for film within the Hollywood Industry.

Antoinette gained attention for her roles in critically acclaimed HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, A.B.C. Family series Switched At Birth and two FOX hit-comedy shows, Raising Hope and Ryan Murphy's The New Normal.

Currently, Antoinette is working with Dwayne Alexander Smith and Ben Ramsey, the writers. Furthermore, Antoinette is one of the two leads and a co-producer of Since August. Antoinette has taught theatre workshops at Deaf West Theatre, A.C.T., Deaf Arts Council, Deaf Media, Opera Piccola.

She authored two books, the insightful Gratitude, Trust, Intimacy and Love, and the children's book Tree Wise. Antoinette’s quote, “It’s simply a different language and culture, so those who practice inclusion will reap the benefits with more fulfilling life.”

Michelle Mary Schaefer

Michelle Mary Schaefer is known as an actor who takes risks and brings characters alive on stage and screen. Ms. Schaefer is the first Deaf female actor to take on the role of Billy in "Tribes" by Nina Raine, a role she has played five times.


She is often called "The Depp" in reference to Johnny Depp, a talented actor who changes his looks for every role. Her acting expertise exceeds expectations, leaving the audience longing for more.

Ms. Schaefer happens to be Deaf, fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), is learning British Sign Language (BSL), and has the ability to speak. She does not allow her Deafness to stop her from following her passions.

Michelle Mary Schaefer is also a screenwriter, playwright, director, creator, intimacy coordinator/director, producer, and an artist who lives authentically.

Hillary Baack

Hillary Baack has been taking photographs since she was thirteen. Sometimes she'd arrange photo sessions with her friends as models; other times, she'd try to capture real moments, but she particularly loved the human face and figure.

She also acts and writes (and has since she was a kid). She's drawn to human behavior, emotion, stories, and beauty.

When she had her first child, she rekindled her love of photography, which she could incorporate into her daily life with her baby – a dash of creativity amidst the daily diapers and dishes. It was a satisfying reminder of all the incredibly beautiful, sweet moments life offers.

She strives to capture images that bring a moment in time to life and offer a glimpse into the soul of being.

She has been taking photographs professionally for fifteen years. Feel free to reach out for packages and pricing.

Kim Scott-Olson

Meet Kim Scott-Olson, founder of the Thank You for Signing campaign. A Gallaudet Alum, class of '98, with an MA in Family Centered Early Education and Deaf Education. She's been an early interventionist, researcher, family educator, teacher of the deaf, literacy consultant, grant writer, and advocate.

Currently, Kim is a teacher of the Deaf, language and literacy development consultant, language access advocate, and writer. She spent the last year creating teacher training for ASDC's grant-funded project.

Kim's campaign aims to create communication access for Deaf people, encouraging new signers to keep learning and appreciating current signers and ASL teachers. She believes every effort to sign promotes language and communication access, breaking barriers for Deaf people and fostering human connection.

Kim finds joy in encouraging people to learn sign language. 💕 To all signing and learning, THANK YOU for Signing. Together, we promote an inclusive society.

Carly Sygrove

I'm Carly, originally from a small Yorkshire seaside town, Bridlington, and have lived in China and Thailand. Now, I live in Spain with my partner. For over 14 years, I was an Early Years primary school teacher, but I left in 2020 due to hearing and balance issues. Currently, I work as a Transformational Coach for people with hearing loss and a freelance writer.

I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend, walking in the countryside, exploring Madrid, traveling, going out for breakfast, and cherishing my family and friends. Additionally, I enjoy taking photos, listening to music and storytelling podcasts, baking, running, savoring wine, and indulging in spicy food.

In August 2016, I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I started this blog to update my loved ones on my progress, help others with a similar experience, and educate about this type of hearing loss and its impact on daily life.

Cindy Suarez

A native New Yorker who grew up in Puerto Rico, Cindy Suárez is a deaf entrepreneur, and is the visionary behind - Puerto Rico's pioneering personalized hair care provider. Despite losing her hearing at the age of three, Cindy has defied the odds, conquering social bullying, discrimination, and health challenges to emerge as a successful businesswoman. Her unwavering mission is to empower women to embrace their unique hair stories through the use of plant-based hair care products.

Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Cindy is an accomplished green cosmetic formulator, clinical social worker, pianist, international speaker, and integrative nutrition health coach. In her leisure time, she indulges in the healing power of the forests, travels, plays the piano, cherishes family time, and enjoys the company of her beloved canine companion, Master Onyx.

Cindy challenges beauty norms, empowering women to feel confident. She believes in Crisocolla's potential global impact and looks forward to its future.

Jo-Ann Dean

Jo-Ann Dean (Producer) is CEO of SIGNmation and is a producer of new media, Open Caption screenings and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted panels within New York Film Festivaland the entertainment industry.

SIGNmation produced Open Captioned screenings with ASL Panel Discussions including Deaf talent at Sony Pictures Studio featuring Director Edgar Wright of Baby Driver and Director Paul Weitz of Grandma.

Dean is the Marketing Director of an ASL comedic web-series Maleni Chaitoo's Don't Shoot the Messenger! She is an NEA grant recipient for Boundaries BashFest16 and CA State Dept. of Ed Grant to fund ASL Digital Media & TV Studio for Deaf Youth at Marlton School.

Additionally, SIGNmation is a Media Partner of Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, a consultant on PBS/American Film Showcase Documentary Deaf Jam and a proud Co-Founder and Creative Producer of ASL Cabaret based in Hollywood. Dean is a CoProducer on Indie Feature Turnover bringing Deaf Talent to set, on screen and behind the scenes with accessibility.

Currently producing an acclaimed ASL cabaret show The Laramie Project.

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