ASL storyteller Ben Jarashow’s one-man show offers a range of stories, from embarrassing, comedic real-life experiences to stand-up comedy to translated stories, personification, and many more! Ben takes advantage of technology for visual effect, interweaving PowerPoint slides and videos with his stories to enhance the audience’s experience. Prepare for a visual journey filled with humor, vivid imagery, and most of all, laughter.
One storytelling performance can range in time length, going up to 1.5 hours, depending on client’s request.
Deaf Studies Specialist
Ben provides consulting services in the Deaf Studies field to individuals, schools, organizations, businesses, and various branches of the government, including law enforcement. Consulting services can include workshops or lectures in a range of areas including, but not limited to:
- Deaf Studies
- Cultural awareness
- Cross-cultural risk management
- Curriculum development
As an ASL Coach, Ben’s role is to provide feedback, help modify signs and approach, provide encouragement, and to give direction to help facilitate the most effective way to present yourself in ASL. This service is excellent for if you:
- Want to become an ASL Storyteller, but desire a more formal, one-on-one training.
- Need help translating a story to ASL
- Need help preparing for a role in theatre or film
Ben has traveled extensively across the nation giving workshops and lectures for various schools, universities, and organizations on a broad range of topics within the ASL and Deaf Studies field.
Feel free to browse the list of topics covered by Ben over the years of giving workshops and lectures. If you are interested in having Ben give a workshop or lecture but do not see what you want listed, Ben is able and willing to develop a new presentation tailor-made for your needs.
Time length of workshops and lectures varies based on client preference. Presentations with shorter time lengths will be formatted more like a lecture and PowerPoint slides will be modified to fit into the allotted time slot. The longer presentations will be expanded to include more information and details. It will also be modified to include the audience more and the lecture will become more of a group discussion.
Deaf World: 101
This lecture is intended as an introduction to the Deaf world and culture, and is excellent for audiences who have little to no experience with or knowledge of Deaf people and their culture. We will touch down on various aspects of the Deaf World, including current events and issues, with the goal that the audience will leave with a general knowledge and understanding of it.
Time Length: 1 hour
The Joy of ASL Literature
The objective of this workshop is to introduce you to the ASL literature of the Deaf community. The presenter will cover the different genres within this category. By studying specific literary works in ASL, we will examine the cultural and social constraints and functions of literature. By end of the presentation, the audience will have a general understanding of ASL literature in a way that reflects and reinforces Deaf-World values, beliefs and traditions.
Time Length: 1-2 hours
Audism & Linguicism
During the course of this lecture, we will study the general theory of oppression and the different levels involved, with a focus on audism and linguicism. We will go through the history of the two terms, how they came to be in our consciousness, and learn how to identify them in various situations.
Time Length: 1-3 hours
The Cycle of Ideology: The Image of Deaf People in Hollywood
Occasionally, a deaf character will make an appearance in a Hollywood film, whether played by a deaf or hearing actor, and for the deaf community, it’s an exciting thing. Or is it? For this workshop, we will take a closer look at how accurately the characters are represented, common stereotypes and misconceptions sent across by the characters, and more. We will start with some of the earliest movies ever produced and as we go forward in time, we will compare the characters and unmask the ideological cycle that has impacted all of the deaf characters in our history of films.
Time Length: 1-3 hours
Stories with Constraints Basic Principles
This lecture will focus on a specific ASL Literature genre, Stories with Constraints. There are four types of stories with constraints, which are: ABC stories, numbers stories, word stories, and one-handshape stories. During the course of this lecture, the audience will learn the appropriate format for each of the four stories and how to create good quality stories with constraints. These basic principles will also give the audience tools to critique others’ stories with constraints. Video examples of stories with constraints will be shown and the audience will be able to practice critiquing the stories using tools learned during the presentation.
Time Length: 1-2 hours
Gestures: The Root of Sign Language
We will explore the development of signed languages; the transition to a language from gestures. There will be a discussion on the question of whether or not there is still a link between gestures and signed languages. Also, the theory of iconicity and arbitrariness of sign languages will be discussed. The knowledge and skill of gesturing is a necessary foundation to knowing ASL, because there is an important connection between signers’ ASL skills and gesturing abilities. We will explore the role gestures play in ASL Literature, specifically Visual Vernacular.
Time Length: 1-3 hours
Unity for Gallaudet: The Second Social Movement at Gallaudet University
The presentation will focus on the 2006 Gallaudet University Social Movement. The movement was instigated by a group of people fighting for their rights to a leader that would represent them in the best way as a minority group. The protest ended more than five years ago, yet there are many people, including actual protesters and outsiders who still struggle to understand the actual reason behind the protest. The goal of this presentation is to thoroughly study the details of the protest and the actual reason behind why it started, what happened, the issues brought up by both sides, and much more. We will go to the heart of the protest and discuss information that the outside public wasn’t aware of during the protest. Another objective is to clear up misconceptions and questions the audience may have through a group discussion. This protest has become an important milestone in recent Deaf history and it is important that teachers understand everything behind the protest so they will be able to pass on correct information to their students.
Time Length: 1-4 hours