ASL Teacher has ALS and loses both of her voices

Karen Dyer, an American Sign Language (ASL) teacher, has ALS which was once called Lou Gehrig’s Disease; this is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which has caused her to lose both her vocal abilities and her hand movements.

Karen Dyer has lived her adult life with two voices—her speaking voice and the “voice” of her hands. As an ASL teacher, mentor, consultant, interpreter and actress, she has awakened a new level of awareness within our theatre community of what it means to communicate with your hands.

She introduced the character of Chester the Jester into the Children’s Programming. Chester never spoke, only signed. As a result, countless children left our theatre smiling and talking to each other with their hands.

Karen’s good friends are attempting to raise funds via a GoFundMe site.


The expenses and needs that accompany this disease, over and above health care coverage, can be emotionally, psychologically and financially debilitating. Our goal is to ease the financial burden of home modifications, transportation needs and in-home care.

If you can afford to help Karen Dyer, please do so. For more information and to contribute, please go to her GoFundMe site.

(I know that this is a legitimate situation because my wife’s dearest friend is also a friend of Karen Dyer. Although they both live outside of Philadelphia, a thousand miles away from me and my wife, we also hope that you can help Karen and her family during this crisis.)


About Ken Previti
This entry was posted in civic duty, fairness, public education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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