Combatting Disconnection Among Seniors with D’yann Crosby
May 9, 2023
Combatting Disconnection Among Seniors with D’yann Crosby

We focus a lot on the education of our youth, but people at the other end of their life need resources and education too. Many people lose their hearing as they age, making communication difficult and connection even more challenging. Seniors face isolation, which leads to anxiety, depression, and elevated symptoms of dementia.

What can help combat this is more family and community connections and learning something new. This week on the podcast, guest D’yann Crosby shares her solution to this challenge. And it’s ingenious.

As an educator, D’yann has immersed herself in the deaf community, learning and understanding their needs and finding solutions to fill a need for a community that is underserved and marginalized. She emphasizes the importance of providing exercises for everyone, from hitting the beginning of language learning to senior citizens, and looking at the next generation.

About D’yann Crosby:

Dr. D’yann Elaine is a leading American Sign Language (ASL) educator, interpreter, consultant, author, producer, and the founder of Sign with Me, Inc. She is an expert in connecting the hearing and Deaf communities and blazing new trails in this field.

Dr. D’yann holds a Doctorate in Divinity, two Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees from prestigious universities. With a passion for social equity and inclusion, Dr. D’yann’s goal is to help people expand their perspectives and focus on their abilities instead of their limitations.

With over two decades of experience, Dr. D’yann has dedicated her life to teaching others. She is the executive producer of the ASL Emergency Preparedness DVD Series and Unheard Voices Talk Show, as well as the author of the “Seniors Sign, Too!” book series. Her vision is to inspire a new generation of signers and make a positive impact by unifying communities through language. She has been featured in iDominate (April 2022 and February 2023) and Voyage LA (2022) and on various On-demand and podcast platforms including Power of Praise Network and Unshakeable Woman and Radio Theatre For Your Soul.

Jump in the Conversation:

[1:40] – Learning is lifelong
[2:00] – Where the desire for impact started for D’yann
[4:05] – Equal communication access for those who are deaf and hard of hearing
[6:15] – 1 in 3 people over age 65 suffer hearing loss
[11:52] – Creating cross-generational and cross-cultural activities
[12:50] – ASL belongs to the deaf community
[13:57] – Family signing together and learning something new makes it more fun
[14:52] – Filling a need for a community that are underserved and marginalized
[18:01] – Serving those in the beginning stages of language learning on up to senior citizens
[19:19] – How to ease into learning ASL for parents and aging population
[23:19] – Goal is to raise awareness of ASL and continue to be lifelong learners, even as we age
[24:24] – Turbo Time
[31:57] – D’yann’s Magic Wand
33:10] – Maureen’s Takeaways

Links & Resources



Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at Education Evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education, evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast, please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:08
D’yann it is so good to have you on Education Evolution.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 1:12
Thank you, Maureen. It’s wonderful to be here. I really appreciate the opportunity. Yeah, I’m humbled. I’m honored. And I’m grateful. Thank you.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:19
Oh, thank you. And listeners. today I’m chatting with D’yann Elaine Crosby. And she has a series of picture books that are cross generational. They’re called seniors signed to empowering older adults with an alternative voice promoting healthy aging after hearing loss. And, D’yann, I love that you’re looking at learning as lifelong and as something that doesn’t have to be one age group. So I want to start out, we know this whole podcast is about how our schools need to evolve to serve all learners. Where did this desire to impact education and to help the evolution start for you?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 2:03
Wow, when I was a little girl, I thought I would be a teacher. And then as I got older and started looking at how much teachers make, I said, I don’t want to or truthfully, you know, when you’re born to teach is in you. And oftentimes, whatever the purpose is, and get that is within you, you come back full circle to it. And so I actually came back door to teaching in the sense that I started teaching sign language through song using music as a community activity enrichment program in the state of Maryland. And I realized that wow, this was great. When I moved back here to California, I didn’t quite know how I would navigate things because things seem to be a little bit different than how things operated on the East Coast. And I ended up going to a job fair for the California charter school association. And it was at that event that I was actually hired as the first American Sign Language teacher to teach an ASL class for the California charter school association. And so my community program came into the formal classroom setting which and it was initially an informal classroom setting and community centers, etc. And so I came back door to teaching, and when I fell in love with and I go, wow, okay, I’ve landed where I’m supposed to be. And therefore my teaching career launch from there with going into school and getting a, you know, going back to school for our credential in the single subject area of American Sign Language and English. I’m a dual credential teacher now.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:49
Wow, impressive. And I think you’re right, if we are wired for something, some way or another, our gifts are going to be called, and you responded. And it sounds like teaching wasn’t where you stopped it. So tell us what you’ve created.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 4:06
Well, I actually formed a I’m the founder also of a nonprofit called sign with me Incorporated. And we advocate for equal communication access for individuals who are deaf, and hard of hearing. So in doing that, we also raise the awareness to American Sign Language, obviously, through teaching. And so you have those that are interested in learning and you have those who benefit from us learning and providing services. And so we actually begin teaching sign language in the community, as I mentioned earlier, but then we when I started to develop my skill, then I was able to offer an interpreting service. And then I got Wow, there’s so many needs out there in the deaf community. And then we started producing accessible media products that were able to allow for Deaf community to have access making sure there’s captioned making sure we’re including deaf representation, etc. And so now we’ve pivoted to our senior sign to book series, we’re now we’re reaching the aging adult population that is being impacted greatly by hearing loss.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 5:20
That is so powerful, I love that you have created your own sign with me Incorporated. And that as you see needs, you keep responding you’re, you’re so responsive. And I do think too, we sometimes just say, Okay, as you get older, just deal with it, your body’s gonna start to slow down deal with it, or, or use something, take more pills, plug stuff in your ears. Yeah, and what you’re suggesting is, or learn a new skill and have a new way to communicate, that doesn’t rely on your hearing. And to me, that’s a really healthy choice. And sometimes, we don’t offer seniors ways to improve their life and to keep learning.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 6:07
Right, when you consider the fact that, gosh, we have over 7 billion people in the world. And I believe I read a report about 2023, there’s about sick 366 plus million people in the United States of that number 10% are deaf because you have one in every 10 persons that’s deaf, born deaf. So of that number, you’re talking about that big number of 366 plus million 60% represent our senior population. And so you have people who are living their full lives as hearing individuals, and at the age of 65, and sometimes a little bit before, but the numbers say that one in every 53 persons over the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. So as our bodies begin to change, natural attrition, things happen, right? And so now you’re facing at the end of your last quarter of life. So to say I used to play basketball, going the last quarter of life, you’re dealing with health, you’re dealing with finances you’re dealing with, what am I going to do with my legacy and passing down things to my kids, you’re looking at so many different things. And now you’re impacted by hearing loss, and not being understood, not being able to be heard, and not being able to hear what’s being said. And so a lot of times depression and anxiety and frustration settles in isolation. And when you have that sort of decline, and people are not communicating, guess what happens? Other things start to creep in and escalating. Yeah, and yeah, and increase like dementia. So by keeping the hands stimulated, keeping the hands and eye coordination, actively engaged, kinesthetically, is improving your mental cognition and memory and recall. And by doing that, you’re exercising your mind. And so that’s where the benefits of using an alternative voice if you lose your ability to hear you lose your ability to speak, God forbid, of course any of these things happen, but they do. How many of our grandparents are a weight loss or weight loss, when they can’t hear us, they’re losing their hearing, and they don’t want to wear the hearing aids all the time. Yes, they take them out. And so to improve that quality of communication, and just build connection, I think that’s so important. The key word here is connection, and allowing for communication to continue. I envision seeing our grandchildren being able to sign you know, our children love to teach us things and our sons and daughters like you and I who are parents who are at that age 65 and above, and being able to encourage them and motivate them to learn just basic vocabulary that’s specific to their day to day reality. And then what about their CNAs and their therapists and those that work with them. On a day to day basis, we’re building a community, building a community around them, that supports them, and motivates them to want to communicate, I’m just getting excited thinking how beneficial this could be.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:23
Absolutely. It’s beautiful and, and I know from aging relatives that if they do wear the hearing aid, they don’t like being where there are lots of conversations going on that more than one source of of of sound is really hard for them to filter. And so when you talk about anxiety, that would be to me anxiety producing if I couldn’t figure out what was coming from where and I could also see it be depressing if I say I can’t do that social event because I won’t be able to hear so. I think you’re you’re leveling the playing field. So the quality of life can be maintained?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 10:02
Absolutely, absolutely. And we want to be able to, again, you have family, you have connection, extending life, we want our loved ones around as long as we can keep them, even though we know Father Time, has his way of, you know, stopping for us all, you know, but we none of us, you know, typically none of us want to just get out of here. But circumstances prevail sometimes. And I want to be able to empower our youth to be able to be more engaging with our older adults, because oftentimes, they’re impatient with them, or they, they kind of brushed them off because they’re old. Yeah, you know, you don’t know what you’re talking about natto Papaw different times, but I really want to encourage family, I want to encourage our young people to be more connected with their grandmothers and grandfathers or, or whomever is the representation of the seniors in their life as pouring into their lives. It could be an aunt, it could be an uncle, it could be a friend of the family that’s become like a extended family, you know. So being able to bridge that gap, I think is a whole nother avenue that really hasn’t been as explored, as I feel this product is going to lend itself with Senior Science to is not just one book, it’s a series. It’s a series of 12 books. And we have vision to be able to expand it into flashcards and coloring books and puzzles and, and products that can be not only used but worn. Yes, yes.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 11:50
Wow. And I love what you’re saying about cross generational. Wouldn’t that be fun? Yeah, we know that kids, preschool elementary pick up any language faster than adults do. Wouldn’t it be great for kids, their parents and their grandparents to all have access to this tool, and to be learning together right away, you have something common, something that you’re all equal at it, because a lot of times it’s somebody’s the expert and is teaching somebody else. But if you’re all learning it together, and practicing it together, it can be a fun activity that builds that bridge, and then that use of it can keep the bridge going. So this just has so many cool ramifications.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 12:38
Thank you, Maureen, I’m glad you can see the vision. I hope our audience can feel it and see it as well. I’m thinking about you just mentioned about the cross generational. Not only is it cross generational, you’re looking at cross cultural. And so your your this language belongs to the deaf community. It’s not my language, I’m a hearing person. Okay, and we partnered with a it was very important to me, culturally, to partner with a deaf illustrator for the book, to show that cross collaboration between the hearing and the deaf world is coming together to present this product to the world, not just my grand idea which it is. But because I have such a heart, you know, for the hearing and the deaf communities to come together and be able to elevate both each other’s communities. I’m seeing this as a cross cultural, as well as a cross generational opportunity. And there’s so many people marine that asked that asked me about learning sign language, and that expressed that they would like to learn sign language. So ASL learning is fun. And so that’s what we’re promoting and like you just said, by having family signing together learning something new, that perhaps is brand new for all of them makes it more fun because you get to laugh at each other. That you know you didn’t say that correctly. But after a while we can talk from across the room or grandma or grandpa consigned to the grandson or granddaughter and say come here I have something for you or I love you or bring me some something to eat or something to drink.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 14:29
Yes, I like that cross cultural concept because yes, this is the language of the deaf community and for you to honor that and respect that and make sure that the illustrator and that the process include the deaf community, to me just sounds very respectful.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 14:49
Yes, absolutely. And as an interpreter as an ASL which is American Sign Language for our listeners for as an ASL influencer and educator. I’ve really immerse myself these last 18 to 20 years in the deaf community serving the deaf community learning and understanding what their needs are finding out what their push, you know, their hot buttons are, their pain points are, and looking for ways to find solutions that bring awareness and say hey to the hearing world, hey, we have a need over here that has been underserved and under Look, here’s another marginalized community, in addition to the several that already exists, there is yet another that is looking for the same equal access civil civil liberties that we all enjoy. They want their place in life, just like I as an African American woman, just as you as a female entrepreneur, there are so many levels and layers that we’re all trying to find our place. We’re all trying to fit in spaces that we know we deserve to be in. And so my lane is the lane of providing the access to help say shine a light on the deaf community. And you’ll find even in the book that the I call them nostalgic pictures, because you’ll get an alphabet, you’ll also get a site where like A is for apple. And in this case is a is for age, because hollow axillary is related to senior experiences, day to day vocabulary that that they would need to learn and use, like amaz for medicine, or E is for exercise. So we hand picked vocabulary words that can be easily used and implemented and used in a day to day reality. And so we’re looking for a way to be able to again, bridge that gap. So going back in the book, the illustrator actually uses cultural symbols in the book like you’ll see hearing aids, you’ll see assistive devices like flashers, things that the deaf community use on a day to day basis to communicate what do technology, you’ll see a clock that has the ASL numbers on them, versus alphabets, right? cultural symbols in the book of products and services that deaf people use. So you can kind of go oh, I didn’t realize but did you see that. That’s what that people use for lights when they’re entering a room or the doorbell when it needs to, you know, make a noise to flash the light to let them know that someone’s at the door. Oh, so there are symbols like that in the in the pictures that if you pay close attention to it, you can learn some other things about assistive devices.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 17:49
Oh, that is, I love it. I just love that. It’s education with so many layers and nuances for whatever level the reader is at.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 18:00
Right from age four and up. So we’re hitting from the beginning of language learning, you know, all the way up. We know it takes place from Zero Day Zero. But you know, you know what I’m saying statistically, so from that age, for it and up, we’re there. And we’re providing a way that it can be done in a fun way, we have flashcards available. So if you want to play games with the flashcards, there’s different ways to keep the learning going and stimulated to recap and play on prior knowledge. And then reinforcement, reinforcement, reinforcement. And hopefully, that’ll allow the brain to keep it you know, at some point, the brain loses everything. But we can, if we can start early enough, you know, we don’t have to wait until 65 to start. And so we’re looking at that next generation. You know, every day we live, we’re moving closer to seeing your dumb people living and this book can be something that can be utilized for centuries to come.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 19:05
Absolutely. So if I’m an educator or a parent listening to this podcast and thinking, Hmm, this could be kind of cool. And I wouldn’t mind having my kids learn this and my aging parents, what are a couple of steps? Because if they mentioned it to a parent or child, they might be like, No, that’s too hard. What are some ways to ease in and get started on this?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 19:28
I always introduce music as a way of learning content. And everyone loves music, right? And so we start with the alphabet song or start with a song that is a favorite song of that young person. And if we’re teaching that song to them, they’re learning so much vocabulary that they do not either realize how much they’re learning, and then who knows that that might stimulate or spark an interest to want to learn more. That’s how it happened for me Maureen. I started learning sign language through music.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 20:03
and music. I taught Spanish before I was a school administrator, and putting things to music made them stick. So we were doing direct and indirect object pronouns. It’s like what the heck. But when asking who or what these questions are direct, I mean, putting it to a tune that we already knew. I mean, that was a long time ago. And I can still remember my indirect and direct object pronouns, I can stop and sing the song. And remember some music, make some things stick. So adding signing to music, to me sounds like fun and a great trick to have it stay with us.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 20:40
Absolutely. And that’s one of the things that sign with me does. We teach American Sign Languages through music. And so we offer summer classes, if anyone’s interested, we will be offering a summer class ASL music class, which will start basically on Saturdays for eight Saturdays for one hour, you get to choose your time block your window of time between 9am and 3pm. And we take whatever the consensus is of the time, we host the class, you learn a song, and you perform it at the end. And we record it. And we give that to you as a gift. And we post it on social media. And we’ve worked with students ages nine and up just last year, we had a group of seniors, and we had about 14 Seniors learning and performing a song and they had such a wonderful time. And that’s really how seniors assigned to was birth. It was from the class.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:34
And it’s the classes remote or in person.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 21:37
Yeah, the code that we have both but because of the COVID pandemic that we just came out, I ended up having to shift our focus to online learning. And so we hosted our classes for that summer online. And we had one of the leading senior facilities reach out to us because they needed to have an activity because many of them are always looking for activities to keep their aging adults engaged. And so this company reached out to me, and we hosted the class. And it was during maybe the third or fourth class out of the eight, that I realized I’m like, wow, how can we continue this learning beyond the classroom because after a week of spending time with me, they’re gonna forget everything that they learned. So how can we continue this, and that’s where the book series was birthed out of that about maybe a say maybe about a week or two later, I just got a major download of the 12 book series. And I launched and got on on it right away. And that’s how I actually met one of our project managers, Kathleen Marquez, who recommended me, you. And that’s how things got started. And a year later, you actually almost two now we’re now published author.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:04
Wow. Yeah. Kathleen is a former Education Evolution guest. So I’m so glad she connected us.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 23:12
Yes, I am, too. Thank you, Kathleen.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:17
I can also see the possibility that grandma on the East Coast and your family in the Midwest, it’s like, hey, let’s hop on this zoom and learn together. We don’t all have to drive and be at the same location. So it could truly be that cross generational learning.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 23:38
I liked that idea and thought of it like that you’re right. It could mean we can customize the classes, it can just classes and that it can be a family thing. Maybe all of your family want to get together and learn a song together. be mixed in with you know, the general class population. And so we’re very open and flexible. The goal is to raise the awareness of ASL, American Sign Language, put language in your hands while you can start stimulating that learning so that we can continue to be lifelong learners, even in our aging years.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:16
This is fantastic. D’yann, I am gonna pivot I always like to get to know the person beyond behind the concept. So I have a few turbo time questions for you. Are you ready?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 24:35
Okay, go for it Maureen, I think I’m ready.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:38
oh, what’s the last book you read?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 24:41
Well, it was actually a book that was recommended by my daughter. And it’s called Science of Getting Rich. And it’s by Wallace Wattles. Not Waddles, but wattles with two T’s and it’s been an interesting share in terms of shifting the paradigm I have your mindset and your relationship to money. And we have different belief systems about money. And I’ve come to believe that it’s okay to have it. And I deserve it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 25:12
Yes, yes. Abundance thinking, right, there’s plenty, we don’t have to think if, if I have it, somebody else doesn’t we can think, abundance for everybody.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 25:24
Absolutely. And again, there is a science behind it, it comes with, again, changing how you, it’s your perception is everything. So changing your perspective on how you view things, and, and all of us have been, you know, born into different, you know, families that we had no control over the families that were given to, we oftentimes, as children didn’t have any control over what environment we grew up in, or the neighborhood that we’re from. And so in those situations or scenarios, we were influenced, you know, from so many different angles, about our belief system. And so sometimes you got to go back to that area in your life, and identify and pin where you may have developed a faulty, you know, reality of how you’re thinking about something and address that. And so that’s what I’m learning from Science of Getting Rich.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:20
Yes. How about two inspirational folks you’d love to meet?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 26:25
Dead or alive?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:28
that come to mind?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 26:30
Okay, the two that come to mind? Let’s see, you know, I think I would really like to meet Helen Keller.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:38

Dr. D’yann Crosby 26:40
They’re born. At a very young age, She’s deaf, and she’s blind. And her struggle in terms of finding a way to communicate is what resonates to me. And now that I’m an interpreter, and now that I’m an ASL educator, and influencer and producer and now new offer, wants to have a conversation with her, because now I can because I know how to communicate in her language using tactile signing. And whereas if I didn’t have this understanding, it might be a challenge to have that dialogue and discourse with her. So not only was Helen Keller able to learn language, which was pivotal, no one thought that she could, but she also later in life, became a journalist and a philanthropist. And so that I would want to meet Helen Keller. This is the second person and let’s see, let’s see, Oprah Winfrey, she continues to just be astounding, and just an incredible force and influence to the world and just be able to sit in her audience and just tap into some of the things that she would share with me as a person who is coming up in the ranks, coming up from the field of education and one day, probably a consultant one day, probably a talent on a host of a talk show. Who knows. Just tap into some of the things that she may be able to provide some seed or watering or increase.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:27
Absolutely. You’re in her work right now with trauma. Yes, she’s She constantly is taking on key issues, elevating them diving in and putting herself on the line. She and Brene Brown, both are so willing to be transparent and vulnerable to help us learn. So I’m with you. I think she’s a rock star.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 28:49
Oh my god. So yeah, I would say Helen Keller, if the person the person is dead, and alive, Oprah Winfrey. I know there are two women. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way No,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:02
how about a favorite fun thing or fact about LA?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 29:06
A fun fact about LA? It does rain in Southern California. Um, you know, what was interesting I recently read was that the internet was born here in a lab and use at UCLA, which is the University of California, Los Angeles, my rival from USC, you know, being that I’m a Trojan. So I thought that was interesting. We’re all on the internet. And it’s been very popular for us since, you know, especially to since 2000, but I’m sure it was developed sooner earlier than that. But the fact that it was actually birth in a lab at UCLA, I didn’t know that until about a week or so ago.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:54
Wow. That’s fun to know. And finally, something about you that most people don’t know.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 30:01
Wow, that’s why I’m here. Today I’m coming out. And 2023 as a two time author, actually, with two published works and our flashcard product. So in addition to sign with me is my baby as the senior sign to product. But I also co authored an anthology called seasons of divorce. And so that we just launched that just a couple months ago. So now next week, this coming Saturday, which is Saturday, March the 18th 2023. From 1pm to 4pm. Pacific Standard Time, we will be launching our book launch release experience for senior signs to book number one, and the flash cards, and our trademark brand here zero, and some products and are here zero store. So you’re welcome. If you’re local in the Los Angeles area, you’re welcome to join us in person. We will also have a live stream of the event if you’d like to tune in and see what we’re doing here in Torrance, California. We will be on Facebook Live Stream 1pm to 4pm Pacific Standard Time. And you can just go to our Facebook and become our friend follow us at sign with me. Org, we’d love to see you and you can see what’s going on. You can buy the book at sign with And on our homepage, you’ll be able to see it featured and you can buy the book through that platform. It’s available also on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. And Lulu Press. So I’m super excited. I hope you guys are too.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 31:50
Congratulations. Absolutely. And I like to wrap up the interview with a magic wand moment. So D’yann, I’m handing you a magic wand. When it comes to ASL, what would you wish for?

Dr. D’yann Crosby 32:06
Hey, I’m receiving the magic wand, and I’m twirling it in my hand. And then I’m going to land it out like and them our world is inclusive. Our world is equitable. Our world is continually diverse, and it leads with love.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:27
Oh, Mic drop.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 32:31
I dropped the wand.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:35
Ah, D’yann, thank you. Thank you for being our guest today. And for the wonderful work you’re doing to move us closer to your magic wand wish. It’s been a pleasure having you today.

Dr. D’yann Crosby 32:48
It’s been a pleasure being here, Maureen and I wish you all the best with the prep and education evolution. And who knows, maybe I’ll be flying out there to hang with you all.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 33:10
D’yann has such positive energy, how joyfilled she is. I really appreciate what she is creating and how it serves humanity in so many ways, from helping seniors continue to have access to communication and community to lifting up the deaf community and raising awareness about their language and culture and to creating cross generational experiences that can help bring our families together. What a wonderful resource. It’s sad that we don’t do more to help the seniors years, that final quarter, as D’yann says, to be robust and connected. I’ve loved living in other cultures and learning from them. I’ve experienced that the Latino culture in particular, does a wonderful job of cross generational lives and interactions. I can remember dancing in Ecuador, at a salsa party. And there was an elementary daughter and there was a mom and there was a grandma, everybody was out dancing and having a good time. It wasn’t segregated by ages and by parents versus kids. I love that kind of interaction.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 34:33
When I think about wanting to learn something new, I know that many of us lose momentum when we have to go it alone and learn something. I think that’s the reason a lot of folks complete doctoral classes but don’t do their dissertation. It’s hard to keep going without that group support and specific deadlines. So I really like the idea of online signing classes. So that there’s a group Energy, a specific time to be learning, and somebody else leading the learning. Be sure to check the show notes for links to D’yann’s work. The idea of wrapping a lesson around a song, and winding it up with a performance is wonderful. I can picture enjoying doing this with my mom and daughters. I’d love for all of us to be on the same zoom learning together. D’yann’s magic wand really captured beautiful ideas for our whole world. A world that’s inclusive, equitable, continuing to unpack and delve into diversity, and always leading with love. That says it all. Thank you listeners for being a part of the education evolution.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 35:58
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together. Thanks again for listening. To support the education evolution, subscribe so it lands in your podcast app and gets out to more decision makers. Then rate and review it. For more information in shownotes go to Education Evolution listeners. You are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen heard, valued and thriving. We are in this together and we need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.


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