Benjamin Lewis

Understanding Humankind Through Gesture

Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis, the first Deaf lecturer to work on the ASL program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is passionate about flying hands. Fluent in not only ASL, but also Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), he is fascinated by watching not only Deaf people, but humans in general who also use their hands to communicate with others, incorporating not only signs but gestures and visual movements being but a few examples. These interesting observations will be expanded upon at the TEDx talk, which will expand your mind to other visual possibilities that current exist.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Benjamin is a proud alumnus of California School for the Deaf in Fremont (CSDF) and Gallaudet University, where he completed his B.A. in Communication Studies and Graphic Design. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Tokyo, Japan as an ASL Instructor, and with a passion for resources, published a popular 'Easy ASL Book' for Japanese students wanting to learn ASL in an accessible way. He then travelled further down-under to New Zealand, where he was employed as the national Communications Manager for Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand and one of his major projects was the country's NZSL Week, a unique and well-known week, which promotes NZSL which is an official language in New Zealand. With that under his belt, he then completed his M.A. in Sign Language Teaching at Gallaudet University (2012), and went on to work with Chinese Hong Kong University, working towards preparing Deaf students from multiple countries to become certified sign language instructors in their respective countries.

He now lives and works in Los Angeles, and continues to be involved in the sign language world, and has been the keynote presenter for a number of sign language conferences, with two of them being the NZSL Teachers Association (NZSLTA) conference in Christchurch, New Zealand (2012), and the American Sign Language Teaching Association (ASLTA) conference in Charlotte, North Carolina (2013). Benjamin is currently working on a number of exciting digital projects.

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