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Handspeak Blog

Jolanta Lapiak is a pioneer, world traveler, college professor, record holding swimmer for Deaflympics, has a MFA from NSCAD University, and is our featured blogger. Lapiak was born culturally Deaf to Deaf parents in Poland. She and her family migrated to Canada when she was nine, though traveling is still a passion for her.



Lapiak created the website Handspeak to share and expose ASL as a rich language with a strong cultural background, and to clarify myths and misconceptions about the language and its community. Her motto is that “speech is not central to language” and she is working to break this assumption through her work with her three-year-old daughter, who she has documented in her growth to being bilingual in ASL and English. Lapiak’s goal is to make ASL available to anyone who has a want or need to learn it, and this is exactly what Handspeak does. Lapiak is well on her way to making ASL widely recognized for its linguistic value, and for her idea that ASL is “A beautiful language, a core of one’s cultural identity,” an idea that more people can share.






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