Online educational games are popular resources for many parents and teachers. For deaf middle and high school students, there are very few accessible online games and resources. That’s why Deafverse, the first-ever American Sign Language (ASL) accessible online game for deaf teenagers, was developed by a team of deaf creators and educators at the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes.
Deafverse is a free, choose-your-own-adventure game that is equally focused on skill-building and fun. It is specifically designed for deaf players to experience first-person gameplay through different worlds.
Deafverse is an opportunity for deaf teens to practice self-determination — the process by which people make their own choices and decisions — and build self-advocacy skills by allowing them to make mistakes in a safe environment. Research shows these skills and self-beliefs are essential for success during and after high school.
More than 6,000 people have played Deafverse, and countless educators have incorporated it into their classrooms and learning plans. Join them today!
Meet the Team
As the narrator with many faces, Justin is a deaf storyteller who brings energy and motivation with his showcase of beautiful ASL and Visual Vernacular (VV).
FAVORITE GAME: Mario Kart 64 on Nintendo 64 and using Rory’s Story Cubes to fuel his creativity for VV stories.
FUN FACT: Justin drives a 1980 VW Vanagon, a ride he’s always wanted since he was a little kid.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help!
Violet & Enza
As deaf actresses, Violet and Enza kick off the Deafverse experience by sharing a mysterious ride with players.
FAVORITE GAME: Violet loves playing board and card games, especially when it’s Monopoly with Enza!
FUN FACT: Violet is a fashionista but can’t stand jewelry. Enza travels across the country every summer on family road trips.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Violet says, “Think carefully about the situations you face everyday.” Enza says, “Always be confident with your own self. Be bodacious and you will find new things in life every single day and adjust to the world. Be friendly; you will be treated the way you treated others.”
Kent is a deaf game designer who believes that deaf people can tell stories through video games.
FAVORITE GAME: Final Fantasy VII on Playstation
FUN FACT: Kent used to be a middle school teacher at a school for the deaf.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: "The greatest teacher, failure is." -Yoda
William is a deaf programmer who built the platform that powers Deafverse.
FAVORITE GAME: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64
FUN FACT: William rode a bicycle from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Keep moving forward, no matter how slow.
Carlisle is a deaf cartoonist who gives life to the Deafverse characters that leap from the comic pages.
FAVORITE GAME: Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and the Sims.
FUN FACT: Carlisle is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Find a hobby! Hanging out with people and bonding over a shared hobby can happen through things like being on sports teams, joining a club, or doing activities together. When Carlisle was mainstreamed in a public school, they made friends through their art.
Adding the finishing touches to Deafverse, Omar is a deaf graphic designer who makes the game look sharp.
FAVORITE GAME: Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, Crash Team Racing on the Playstation
FUN FACT: For a while, Omar’s hair was around 21 inches long!
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Don't be afraid to show what you're capable of!
Brigitte is a deaf costume designer who transformed Justin’s wardrobe with a custom-made motion capture suit.
FAVORITE GAME: Brigitte loves board games like Spirit Island and Altiplano.
FUN FACT: Brigitte has lived in three countries and knows 3 sign languages.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Keep learning to move forward. Get out of your comfort zone to grow and reach other opportunity bubbles.
Bradley Gantt and Ruan DuPlessis
Bradley and Ruan are deaf filmmakers who contribute to the visual look of Deafverse with filmmaking magic at Bus Door Films, their deaf-owned business.
FAVORITE GAME: Bradley and Ruan stick with the old fashioned classics: Monopoly and playing cards.
FUN FACT: Bradley is an experienced deep-sea scuba diver (his personal record is 107 feet deep) while Ruan knows four languages and does backflips!
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Bradley says, “Do what you love. Don’t stop practicing. There are many doors out there waiting for you to open.” Ruan says “A door of opportunity may open or close for you. If it’s open, grab it. If it closes, don’t give up and continue exploring until a new opportunity arises.”
Chase is a deaf filmmaker who coordinates the media that grows Deafverse from concept to filming to editing to completion.
FAVORITE GAME: Toejam and Earl on Sega Genesis
FUN FACT: Chase has been making movies since he was eight years old.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Find something you love doing. Practice and practice until you’re better at it, and you might make a career out of it.
Lauren "Lore" Kinast
Lore is a deaf technical assistance specialist who captures common scenarios experienced by deaf individuals that you also experience in Deafverse!
FAVORITE GAME: Bejeweled, Centipede, and Azul
FUN FACT: Lore attended nine different colleges!
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Advocacy and educating go hand-in-hand: Know how to advocate for yourself while educating others in the process. If something doesn't feel right and you're unsure what to do, ask a mentor for advice.
Andrés "Flash" Otalora
Andrés is a deaf videographer who films and edits the action that happens within each Deafverse World … at the speed of a superhero!
FAVORITE GAME: Pac-Man
FUN FACT: Andrés thinks outside of the box.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: You will face some trials and errors in your life. Keep learning to become successful. Passion and determination is the key to success.
Zane is a deaf writer who brings engagement and fun to our Deafverse social media channels. He posts and answers your questions!
FAVORITE GAME: Final Fantasy Tactics on PlayStation. One of the greatest tactical RPGs ever.
FUN FACT: I race bicycles! I’ve done road races and criteriums. Hoping to try cyclocross and mountain bike races someday.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Failure is the best teacher. Fail better every time until you’ve gotten it and remember to be patient with yourself in the process.
Carrie Lou Garberoglio
Carrie Lou is the associate director at the National Deaf Center who works with the Deafverse team on strategic decisions.
FAVORITE GAME: Tetris on Nintendo
FUN FACT: Carrie Lou can knit socks, which might be a useful skill in the apocalypse.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: All experiences are opportunities to learn something. Stay curious and keep learning!
Stephanie is a director at the National Deaf Center, steering the ship and cheering the team on!
FAVORITE GAME: Volleyball.
FUN FACT: Stephanie loves yoga.
DEAFVERSE PRO TIP: Be prepared. When access becomes a problem, if you’re not prepared, the problems multiply. At least you can take care of your own responsibilities, and bring that ready to roll!”
About National Deaf Center
The National Deaf Center’s mission is to close the substantial gaps in education and employment that exist for deaf people in the United States and its territories. We are a technical assistance and dissemination center federally funded by the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide evidence-based strategies at the local, state, and national levels.
To learn more about the National Deaf Center, please visit our main ‘About’ page.