Unlock the potential of children through the power of language play in signed language.

At Hands Land, we are a non-profit organization run by deaf individuals who are passionate about promoting early language development in young children. Our mission is to create a world where all children have access to early language experiences in signed language. 

Through our innovative and engaging approach to language play, we empower teachers, families, and children to explore the world of signed language and experience the joy of communication in exciting and fun ways. Our team of experienced educators and consultants are dedicated to supporting each teacher, family, and child through our resources, workshops, and consultations.

Thank you for considering Hands Land as your partner in promoting early language and literacy development in young children. We look forward to working with you!

Who Are We?

Dr. Leala Holcomb

Leala comes from a multigenerational deaf family and attended a PreK-12 ASL/English bilingual deaf school. Leala has worked as a teacher of the deaf and is currently employed by the University of Tennessee to conduct research on language and literacy in deaf education. Leala is also a bonus parent to a deaf and a coda child, bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to Hands Land.

Michael Higgins, 

PhD Student

Michael comes from a hearing family and attended an educational program that used Signed Exact English. Michael is a former teacher of the deaf. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Boston University, where he is conducting research on language development in deaf children. Michael is also a parent to three deaf children, which gives him unique insight into the joys of language play.

Jonaz McMillan, M.A.

Jonaz comes from a deaf family and attended a PreK-12 ASL/English bilingual deaf school. Jonaz is a deaf educator with a master's degree in sign language education. Jonaz has a master's degree in sign language education and has taught college courses to deaf students on theories of communication. In his free time, Jonaz loves to create jingles in signed language, showcasing his passion for and creativity with ASL.