Join our movement and support a Black woman, Deaf led organization by purchasing a Black Deaf Students Matter t-shirt.
Sign name, “cute, smile” in ASL with a “K."
(Also pictured: CODAs: Zion & Zaire)
Photo Credit: Cat McCombs, 2019
Ms. Kei-Che Randle is a Black Deaf woman, Educational Consultant, mother of two CODAs/Children of Deaf Adult. She serves a Teacher of the Deaf/ Doula/ and aspiring Midwife to her community.
As a child, Ms. Kei-Che was labeled as being "hearing impaired." Due to lack of connection to Deaf community, she wasn't aware nor had the Deaf education to understand that this term is no longer acceptable.
Ms. Kei-Che was born deaf and had mastered the art of lipreading. Later she received bilateral hearing aids in second grade, after consistently falling asleep in class. Her teacher and speech pathologist led the family to seeking a late diagnosis. They became aware of how tirelessly she was striving to hear.
She was exposed to fingerspelling as an adolescent. Then formally introduced to American Sign Language during her senior year in high school in Tucson, Arizona. (Shoutout to Ms. Isela Q.) It was in college where she learned to accept her deafness and challenged others to do the same through kindness and spreading love. She noticed the beauty of ASL , the variations, and its impacts on communities...but she wasn’t yet conscious of the transformation that she would soon undergo, as she identifies with being "Deaf," by the way of connection to BlackDeaf communities.
Year 2014, she received the hybrid cochlear implant from Cochlear Americas in Iowa. The following six months, she lost her residual bilateral hearing, resulting in profound to severe deafness in her right ear. Prior to that, Kei-Che only had minimal residual hearing, 20% in each ear. Kei-Che continues to appreciate her amplification devices. Through music is where she finds peace with being whole, BlackDeaf, while embracing both worlds. However, she enjoys the silence, prefers ASL now, and chooses her own mode of communication as she see fits.
Ms. Kei-Che evolved through self-teaching herself ASL through performances of songs, in conjunction with college ASL classes and Deaf community events. She sought out to Deaf mentorships in the Cedar Valley (IA) and felt ostracized and excluded. This experience inspired her to build STEPS by Kei-Che from the ground up. Later, she found BlackDeaf community in Knockpatrick, Jamaica and Bay Area, CA.
STEPS by Kei-Che offers ASL mentoring services virtually and in person. In addition, Ms. Kei-Che became the 1st BlackDeaf graduate from Goldman Sachs: One Million Black Women: Black in Business. She had the opportunity to perform for graduation and it was a dream come true. It also amplified how warmly she was received from Black hearing communities.
STEPS by Kei-Che was launched March 2015. It marks the first “Def Gospel Jam” at the Black Hawk YMCA (Cedar Valley, IA) with over 100 people in attendance. These efforts evolved to annual/quarterly showcases and Summer camps with hearing and Deaf children. Her vision is to equip us all with access to Black representation of ASL as means to bridge the gap between Deaf and Hearing communities. Black Deaf Students Matter.
#shiftingtheculture #stepsbykeiche #BlackDeafStudentsMatter #SongsToEnhancePeopleSigning
You can join our movement by adding these hashtags to Social Media posts that you feel are "shiftingtheculture" and that relates to STEPS by Kei-Che's initiative!
Ms. Kei-Che is available for 1:1 Workshops of ASL dialogue/communication between any community member. She provides resources to a larger BlackDeaf community + access to other Black Deaf creators.
Workshops are All inclusive!
STEPS by Kei-Che stays active within both Deaf and hearing led communities through volunteer experiences. Facilitation of birthday parties of Deaf and hard of hearing children has become a popular demand. STEPS by Kei-Che prioritize working with families and organizations, as it foster a community to practice with, inside the homes and safe spaces.
Ms. Kei-Che is always willing to collaborate with other organizations.
Proposals are available upon request.
All programming includes complimentary
t-shirts and ASL swag bags (incentives).
Your support and contributions will defray the cost for youth to learn American Sign Language, in any community. Your generous donation will fund our mission and vision.
Our mission is to showcase the evolution and enhancement of people learning American Sign language through gospel, contemporary, pop, and hip hop music. We embody rhythm and passion through creative use of American Sign Language (ASL), music and dance.
Our vision is to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing communities by bringing Black ASL to the world through music enjoyment. We provide education (Deaf Education consultation) to all. Our focus areas are: layers of being marginalized, navigating microaggressions, miscommunication and stereotypes, and BlackDeaf education. We aspire to break barriers by learning, encouraging, rebuilding confidence, and celebrating each other’s languages.
Songs To Enhance People Signing by Kei-Che vision is to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing communities. Imagining America (Gather to Grow project) challenged Kei-Che to produce a form of art after sharing her experience of being a Deaf, Black woman and student. Kei-Che grew up in a hearing family that perfected slam poetry. "This is my gift back to the world."-KR
If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Open for bookings: ASL Mentoring Workshops, Speaking Engagements, ASL Performances, and Doula Services,
Saturday - Sunday: Reserved for STEPS Group WorkShops (virtual & in person)