Ben Jarashow was born and raised in California, and attended the California School for the Deaf, Fremont. It was there that his passion for ASL storytelling was cultivated, but his love for Deaf Studies wasn’t realized until he enrolled in college. After that light bulb moment, he went on to graduate from Gallaudet University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies. Then Ben obtained his Master’s degree in Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies in 2006, also from Gallaudet University. His Master’s thesis focused on developing criteria for a better quality of ABC storytelling.
Ben taught Deaf Studies at the Utah Valley University for ten wonderful years, where he helped develop and strengthen the curriculum for their Deaf Studies program. Then he got a new job teaching ASL and Deaf Studies at the University of South Florida and moved with his family to the Tampa Bay Area in Florida where they lived for almost three years. They recently relocated to the beautiful town of Rochester, NY and are happily settled into the wonderful community there. In addition to teaching, he has also traveled all over the country giving ASL performances and workshops covering a wide range of topics in the ASL and Deaf Studies field. Ben is best known for his stories about his encounters with jellyfish.
As much as Ben loves storytelling and Deaf Studies, his greatest loves are his family. Some of his favorite things to do is spend time with his wife, Kat and their three children – Boone, Cypress, and Wilder. They’ve been giving him plenty of new comedic material for his storytelling, although none involve jellyfish, much to Ben’s relief.