ASL Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing programming to children with limited access to American Sign Language (ASL). The mission of ASL Friends is to advance early language acquisition for deaf children through quality educational programming in ASL. We have developed a pilot episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" with ASL actors added to the episode. The pilot episode of "Mister Rogers' ASL Friends" was extremely successful with children, parents, and educators. The success of "Mister Rogers' ASL Friends" has driven us toward our next goal, a full week of programming. We are currently fundraising to produce a full week of "Mister Rogers' ASL Friends" with ASL actors. Join us in preparing deaf children for success in school through fluency in their first language! Click here to learn more.
The idea of adding American Sign Language to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" has been on the drawing board since 1990. In this never before released video from 1993, Kim Nussbaum, founder of ASL Friends, had the surprise opportunity to interpret for her childhood hero as Fred Rogers presented the keynote address for the 90th Anniversary of The Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh. At this first meeting she shared her idea of adding American Sign Language to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and he approvingly welcomed her to reach out to his production company Family Communications, Inc.
Any funds solicited for ASL Friends, Inc. are not being solicited by, or on behalf of, Fred Rogers Productions.