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Ronnie McKenzie, a deaf entrepreneur and social media influencer, is on a mission to teach the masses American Sign Language (ASL). 

On Feb. 14, McKenzie – who goes by the name King Ron on social media — posted an emotional video to his Instagram page where he recalled feeling alone and isolated because he failed to communicate with family growing up. According to the father and YouTuber, none of his relatives understood ASL. Now, he wants to help other families that may be facing the same issue.

“I think ASL should be a primary language that’s taught in all schools. Kids with disabilities, non-verbal, kids with autism, should not feel left out. So, please help me stop communication barriers today,” McKenzie said.

“Being the only deaf kid on both sides of my family, nobody knew ASL — that’s wrong. That’s why I built my platform. This is why I do what I do,” he added. 

McKenzie has been doing his part to teach people ASL on Instagram and YouTube, where he shares short, fun and informative videos in which viewers can learn common ASL words and practice the signs associated.

On Feb. 16, the deaf and partially blind star posted a video on how to say common words related to health care in ASL. In honor of the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, McKenzie shared a fun clip teaching people how to sign popular terms connected to football and the game. The influencer also sells t-shirts adorned with short, catchy phrases in ASL.


There are more than 300 different forms of sign language.

Around the world, more than 70 million people are deaf and rely on ASL or different forms of sign language to communicate, National Geographic notes. There are more than 300 different forms of sign language. 

In the U.S., more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, according to Eric. Often, these parents have had limited or no exposure to ASL. The involvement of parents plays a crucial role in the language development of deaf children and can greatly influence their educational outcomes and overall success in school and beyond, but some parents find it hard to understand and practice ASL. For some, learning and understanding the language can be challenging, and their lack of confidence may hinder their ability to learn, Very Well Health notes. McKenzie’s easy, fun, and accessible approach to teaching ASL could help combat this issue and bring parents and families closer to their deaf loved ones.

According to his GoFundMe page, McKenzie was diagnosed with Usher syndrome type 3, a genetic condition that causes varying degrees of hearing and vision loss.

“I have always been profoundly deaf, yet my vision is slowly decreasing, making it hard for me to do daily activities such as driving, going to appointments, physical activities, going to park with kids etc.,” he penned on the campaign page. The passionate advocate is in need of new hearing equipment so that he can keep spreading awareness about issues impacting the deaf and blind community through content creation. Consider donating.


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