Welcome to Heart Sign! 

Our Vision:  To support individuals and families who use American Sign Language (ASL) in our local and regional community by providing and promoting an ASL enriched environment. We strive to increase Deaf awareness, the beauty of ASL communication and Deaf culture within our community. To enrich the lives of families in our community and from around the state by providing camps, retreats, classes, co-op, workshops, online studies, fellowship activities, and church services.

The latest:

It never ceases to amaze us that God is in control of our lives. Our vision began in 2005 and our desire has always been to serve God in whatever way He sees fit. Our work in Goliad since 2009 has been completely directed by Him. Heart Sign currently offers:
     *NEW this year: Jean England Academy online - ASL classes!
     *Jean England Academy - education in ASL for math, reading and bible classes

     *Faith Hope Love Deaf Church

     *A variety of retreats for Deaf, CODA and hearing who sign -- uniquely designed for adults, women, men, children, teens, families and leadership ***now on site

     *Social Activities and Events for the whole family

     *Heart Sign Camp for Deaf kids, CODA (children of Deaf adults) and ASL students

     *ASL classes for adults and children

     *Homeschool co-op that includes ASL instruction
     *Interactive internet ladies small group bible study in ASL

     *support for the ASL high school class and ASL Council at Goliad High School

Heart Sign recognizes that American Sign Language (ASL) is the backbone of the American Deaf culture. It is also used by many people with different special needs.  Providing an opportunity to learn while using ASL for communication is one of our main goals. 


We have raised funds to provide full scholarships for every retreat attendee and camper that desired to attend our retreats and camps in 2010 and 2011 in Rockport. We outgrew that location and moved to a campsite in Yorktown in 2012,2013 and 2014 - once again able to award scholarships to all who needed it.  Attendees benefit greatly from this immersion in ASL experience. We have used local schools, churches and private homes for variety of instructional needs and are limited in our efforts  because our needs have grown so much! As of 2015 we are now located on our own site! All attendees at our family retreats, summer camps and on site school in ASL have been able to attend without cost!

Our Jean England Academy (onsite) is temporarily using our retreat cabins for instruction. We have our new 1200 SF classroom has foundation/roof/framed/outer walls - Bum Phillips Charities is diligently working on that with fundraising for us. Their website is - www.bumphillipscharities.com
We are now in phase 2 of building our facility here in Goliad "at the ranch!" We need to finish out our meeting room with ASL-appropriate furniture and lighting.

We are thankful for those that God has sent to help -- a special thanks to

     *Bum Phillips - Coach, Cowboy, Christian (a portion of the proceeds from the sale of

       this book are used to help Heart Sign)

     *the Houston Texans and Blue Ribbon

     *all the gang at Faith Hope Love Deaf Church

     *our amazing volunteer retreat and camp counselors

     *Goliad ISD and the ASL High School Program


    To see a video in ASL click the link below:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22h7_IrbDtA&feature=autofb


To see a video about Heart Sign with Bum Phillips, click the link below:
This is the text (proper captioning) of that video:
ANNOUNCER: For years, Bum Phillips has lent his name in support to many charities in Texas and throughout the country. Now Bum, and his wife Debbie have begun (to support) a charitable foundation of their own to help families with Deaf children. The charity is Heart Sign, and the idea is to build a camp and teaching center on their 250 acre ranch in Goliad creating a safe place for both the parents and the youngsters to grow.
BUM: Well this all started I guess when my grandfather told me to always leave a job better than you found it. I have had a job in football almost all of my life, which is 85 years. And I got to looking around and we have done a lot of charity work here; Ive done a lot of charity work over time and i have really been around some Deaf children but I never really reacted and saw them react. We got interested in it and realized we could probably leave a place better than we found it if we did something to help those children (Deaf) because
there is nothing wrong, except they cant hear.
ANNOUNCER: Family is at the heart of the project. Bums daughter, Kimann, and her husband Mark recently moved to Goliad to concentrate on the project, leaving teaching positions at Texas School for the Deaf. Marks mother Jean was Deaf herself- in fact this picture appeared in life magazine many years ago as she learned to make vowel sounds properly.
MARK:  About 5 years ago after my mom died, I had a dream I guess it was, in the middle of the night, it was a vision for a camp to help Deaf kids and to be able to communicate.  and i noticed that theres a lot of kids today that feel like they are the only kid in America that have their own situation.
ANNOUNCER: By bringing the families tot the ranch in Goliad, kids will have the chance to experience country life. The plan is to help parents with american sign language (ASL) - 90% of Deaf children grow up in families whose parents are not fluent in ASL which often leads to communication problems.
KIMANN: I was part of a teacher-parent conference this year as a teacher at the Deaf school in Austin. The parent of one of my Deaf students was hearing and she was expressing to me how frustrated she was because she couldn't sign enough. She said my child has reached the age at middle school that she needs her teachers more than she needs me. That broke my heart because she was letting me know that her signing level as a parent was not equivalent to the signing level of her child anymore. So when it was time for mom to talk to her daughter about girl things that you need to talk about when you reach middle school, she couldn't have that conversation with her daughter. She had to have an interpreter do that for her or she would just
back off and leave that up to the teachers. As a parent myself, a mother of 6, I cant imagine not being able to discuss things with my kids.
ANNOUNCER: For Bum, the project is about leaving a legacy. Giving back is something he preached as a football coach and now lives as a Texas legend.
BUM: Number one, I would like to see it started. I wont have enough time to finish it, but
if I can get it started, Debbie will finish it. I would like to see a school. A place where you have
3 or 4 buildings to have 25-30 families come in at one time so that you can really do a good job teaching them to communicate better with their children. I’d like to have a big enough place that anybody that needs that help can come . I’d life for it to be free to them because people react better to something that is free rather than something they pay for. So I would like for it to be free for them so that they can come whether they've got money or dont have money.
DEBBIE: Being in the country and getting introduced to country life and  the animals; if you take them to  some place in the city where they are doing more of what they always do its not as much of a draw for the children or a relaxing place for the parents. So, God blessed us with this beautiful ranch and we just want to share it.
ANNOUNCER: Building the camp and teaching center on the Phillips’ ranch is going to take much needed funding. Bum and Debbie believe with the friends they have made over the years they, and others  will step up and help.
BUM: Yeah, its going to take a whole lot more money than what Ive got, but I believe theres enough people in the country that if they get interested in it and hear about it they will help.
This is the greatest country on earth about giving to things and helping other people.
That is what America is about and I think that if I can get this in front of enough people,
I can get it funded.there are grants for different things and this is certainly a worthy cause and it is something that I think it makes sense; they don’t have anything like it that I know of.


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