Meet Mikalya Smith, a Talented Texas Meteorologist Who Does Weather Reports in Sign Language
Mikayla Smith is a senior at Oklahoma University and works weekends at a local television station in Texas. She started learning sign language in seventh grade, and says it has changed her life.
A brand-new meteorologist is making sure more people in her region are getting weather-related information and updates.
She recognized that many people get their breaking news from social media, which doesn't always have reliable closed-captioning for members of the deaf community or those who are hard of hearing.
"That was really where it hit it for me," Smith said. "Is that I want people to be able to be on their phone, getting their news like everybody else and being able to still understand what's going on in the community around them."
So Mikayla started "Signing Science with Smith," giving weather updates and science tidbits accessible to both the deaf and the hearing.
Mikayla was inspired to start learning sign language in seventh grade by her mother, who at the time was a special education teacher.
"ASL is a beautiful language," she said. "It's a great language to start to learn. It really changed my life when I started to learn it."
And Mikalya encourages everyone to learn a little sign language, especially meteorologists.
"You never know when you might be in the situation," she said, "and just having a little bit of knowledge can go such a long way with clear communication."
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