About

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

The game and its curriculum are designed, written, and engineered by deaf creators, software engineers, artists, and researchers at the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. The Deafverse team includes the following people–all former teenagers themselves!
Cartoon of Justin in his Deafverse motion capture suit, in intense mid-sign of karts racing, one hand with “3” handshape but the other is a real, cartoon Mario Kart 64 kart.

Justin Perez

Narrator

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 and Enza stand back-to-back, in their Deafverse set clothes. Violet is holding goggles (the same one Justin wears) and Enza has one hand on her earphones and another hand pointing into a direction.

Violet & Enza

Actresses

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 in Qui-Gon Jedi robes, green lightsaber in one hand, reading a book in the other hand.

Kent Turner

Game Designer

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 in Piccolo attire, speeding along in a bicycle, in a leaned-over racing pose.

William Albright

Programmer

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 in Mulanl gear, drawing pad in one hand, and pencil/pen in another hand. A pokemon sits on their shoulder.

Carlisle Robinson

Cartoonist

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.

Omar is drawn as one of the characters from Disney/Pixas’s Coco. A skeleton with glasses, black shirt, baseball cap on backwards, tan shorts, and Converse shoes. He is leaning back in a rolling office chair, feet up on an angry Koopa like an ottoman. A laptop is on his lap, a Mario 64 star sticker in the middle of the back of the laptop.

Omar Guzman

Graphic Designer

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!

A cartoon of Brigitte dressed in Jedi robes, posing with tape measure in her hands, her left eyebrow cocked, a grin on her face.

Brigitte Gros

Costume Designer

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 wears a black outfit with a black trench coat. Next to him is Ruan in a red and gray suit holding a dog in one arm. Between them is a playing card designed with a yellow door in the middle, with the letters "B" and "D" and the video camera icon.

Bradley Gantt and Ruan DuPlessis

Filmmakers

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 wears a black outfit and red bandanna across his mouth holds two reels of film.

Chase Burton

Media Coordinator

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.

Lore as Lagertha, complete with a round shield in one hand but an oversized pencil that could look like a sword in the other hand.

Lauren "Lore" Kinast

Script Editor

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.

Andres as The Flash (without the helmet), mid-run with several lightning bolts around him, running away from the Pac-Man ghosts that trail behind him in the distance.

Andrés "Flash" Otalora

Senior Videographer

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 wears a vintage battle outfit with spikes. In one hand is a scroll and in the other is a feather pen.

Zane Fleming

Social Media

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 wears a vintage teacher's outfit with a long skirt. Holding up an open book, she looks inside it while holding a pencil in her mouth.

Carrie Lou Garberoglio

Producer

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 wears a superhero costume with NDC's primary colors of teal and lime green. The NDC logo is on a badge decorating the middle of her chest.

Stephanie Cawthon

Producer

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

As deaf people leave high school and prepare for college or careers, the National Deaf Center wants them to succeed. Our research shows that deaf people are not completing college degrees, getting jobs, or earning as much as hearing people. We’re here to change that.

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.