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Indy author’s children’s book reading event set to share stories in American Sign Language

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indy author’s mission to showcase her children’s books while raising awareness on Indy’s deaf and hard of hearing population says there’s a message in the stories, and there’s a bigger message in bridging everyone together.

The Michigan Road library this Saturday is expected to welcome kids from around the city for a Public book reading and signing by author Judith Brewer. But this reading will have a little bit of a twist. The stories will also be told by an American Sign Language interpreter.

There’s something about being able to tell a good story. Brewer developed the skill raising her children. Now a grandmother, she started putting those stories on the page.

“She’s always great with storytelling,” her daughter Erica Gilbert said.

A nine time children’s book author, she’s preparing to hold a book signing and reading session. But instead of the typical reading, an American Sign Language interpreter will also help tell the stories.

“No matter what your culture is no matter what your age is. You might be able to get something from them,” said Brewer from her selection of books.

There’s always a lesson to learn from the stories. Much like the lessons we learn in life, and the value we find in coming together despite differences.

“If you deal with the public, I think you should have at least one employee that signs.” said Brewer.

Gilbert, her daughter is one of the 400,000 Hoosiers with a hearing impairment.

“Please, please come and support my mom,” said Gilbert.

It’s her experiences and perspective that helped push the plan forward.

“I notice that when they go to restaurants and different things, a lot of time there was nobody behind the counter that could sign to them,” said Brewer.

It’s a similar scenario for children who’d like to experience public readings. This is a step to build inclusivity, while also exposing others to deaf culture, along with a good story.

“Very important for the hearing world and the deaf world to be aware,” Gilbert said.

The event is free and the ASL interpretation portion will begin Saturday at 1:30 p.m.