CJ Sign Language — Teaching Sign Language and "Deaf Culture" to a Hearing Public
CJ Sign Language's inaugural project, "How to Talk to a Person Who Can't Hear," was the first video created to teach basic sign language to the general public. Using a TV-show format that is fun and accessible, the video covers 300 basic conversational words and phrases and the alphabet. It also addresses common questions the hearing population may have about people who are deaf, such as "can a deaf people drive?" or "how do they use the phone?"
The original product was a VHS tape packaged in one of Polyline's large, vinyl VHS Album (a.k.a. the Disney-style box).
The show is now available in a DVD format (renamed "Sign Language for Everyone") and a new production "Sign and Sing" has been added to the product line. Jenkins again opted for quality and selected Polyline's one-disc and two-disc DVD boxes with smooth interiors. Again, she decided to use white packaging.
What we liked: A "true" Hollywood production, the video uses 12 actors in 20 locations, covering topics people really want to know. For example, what signs to use when you want to ask a deaf person on a date. Christine Jenkins, owner and president of CJ Sign Language, produced her video, chose deaf actor Anthony Natale (Mr. Holland's Opus and Jerry Maguire) to star in her video. Just as it would have been easy to choose a lesser known actor, it would have been easy to pick any old packaging option. Instead, Jenkins chose packaging that reflected the quality of the product it contained.
"I knew I had created a very high-quality production, but was charging far less than I could have," said Jenkins. "So, since many DO judge a product by its cover, I decided on the finest, whitest, cushiest VHS packaging out there - Polyline's best." She added that many of her customers – individuals, libraries and schools – often commented on how much they appreciated the sturdy packaging.
And, when she began offering a DVD line, she chose to keep white packaging. "It's a classy, clean, educational and all-ages-friendly color," said Jenkins. Doing so also helped her maintain a consistent image across all her products.
Check out CJ Sign Language's Web site: http://www.signlanguagevideo.com/. (CJ Sign Language is donating 50% of its September 2008 sales to the Lovers Lane Academy for the Deaf, a new school located in Dallas for deaf teens.)