About TVC

Welcome to TriVisual Communications!

The idea behind TriVisual Communications (TVC) came about as a result of my realization that no one person or association was willing to provide information about American Sign Language, cued English, and oral approaches in a matter-of-fact way. It has been my experience that professionals typically tout what they know and support, rather than simply providing information and resources about each of these communication modes and options used in deaf education and the deaf community in the United States.

The term “trivisual” carries a double meaning. Tri- refers to the fact that I am someone who grew up natively communicating in three language modes: spoken English, cued English, and signed language (American Sign Language). Those of you who are hearing or have good awareness of phonics will also realize that “tri” sounds very much like “try,” and that is what this site will encourage you to do: TRY learning about all three language and communication modes!

  • Try communicating—visually (using eyes and hands as well as ears)
  • Try communicating visually in different languages (English and American Sign Language)
  • Try communicating visually in different modes (spoken or cued English, signed language)

Tri. Visual. Communications.

When one way of communication doesn’t work effectively in a given situation, try another way.

TriVisual Communications is your gateway to not only learning about resources available, but also requesting services including workshops, presentations, short courses, and general consultation.

About Me

My name is Hilary Franklin and I am a native English speaker and cuer, and near-native signer of American Sign Language. Basically, what this means is that I employ three modes of communication fluently: speaking, cueing, and signing.

I was born deaf to hearing parents who had never really met a deaf person until I came along. After my formal diagnosis at the age of nine months, my parents immediately began doing what they do best: research. They learned about deaf education, communication, and language, and knew they had to prioritize. As multi-degreed individuals, they knew that developing a strong language foundation was the key to future success, regardless of hearing or speech ability.

As hearing parents with no deaf friends, no prior experience with deafness and, for that matter, with American Sign Language, they knew that I needed to develop English language skills. Long story short, as a family, we started cueing shortly after I turned three years old, and have never looked back since. When I was four, we relocated to Montgomery County, Maryland, where the public schools had—and still have—a three-track program for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. One track was for students who cued. I attended the elementary school that housed the Cued Speech program. The middle school and high school brought together students from all three tracks—oral-aural, Cued Speech, and Total Communication (a.k.a, sign language with speech).

Fast forward to 2010, and I am now employed as a technical writer/project associate for a not-for-profit social sciences research agency in Washington, DC. I also hold two degrees—a bachelor’s in Public Policy with a specialization in education, and a master of arts in Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language. I am also a nationally certified instructor of Cued Speech, and a card-carrying member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society.

My upbringing and experiences are directly related to the idea behind creating TriVisual Communications. I was fortunate to have the experience of growing up co-educated with peers both deaf and hearing; signers, cuers, and speakers alike; all from different family backgrounds. As someone who is not only fluent in each language mode, but also educated in each, I have learned one thing—we are always learning language and determining which language—or mode—works best for each of us in any given situation.

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