Alexa (Allie) Smith, 20 year old wife and mother, is the owner of Baby Steps Signing. Exposed to signing at a young age by her mother, a Speech Language Pathologist who works with deaf, hard-of-hearing, and non-verbal children and adults to help them communicate, among other things. Her mother gave her enough insight to the Deaf and American Sing Language (ASL) world to peak her interest. Another influential person in Alexa’s life, her aunt, went on to become a Nationally Certified Interpreter. Now having been exposed to two very different aspects of ASL and its uses, Alexa became more interested and invested in the language and its applications. She practiced what few signs she knew and even taught herself some new signs. Interpreting songs became a primary focus, and she thought that she might become a concert interpreter in the future.
Fast forward a few years, Alexa enrolled in Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC), her class schedule focused around the Deaf Studies courses that the college provided. Throughout the three years of Deaf Studies and Interpreter courses, Alexa became even more exposed to the endless applications of ASL and the ins and outs of the profession. Opportunities to put her expanding knowledge to use were continuously introduced to her. Alexa stumbled upon baby sign classes, something she knew existed, but she did not realize to what capacity. Alexa continued her studies, and the idea of instructing a baby sign class became an old afterthought. It was not until Alexa had completed her studies at VHCC, obtained her Educational American Sign Language Interpreter Certification, and became pregnant with her son that the thought of becoming an instructor came to the forefront of her mind once again.
After much deliberation, Alexa decided to jump into the opportunity of instructing a baby sign language class feet first. She hit the ground running, and contacted local facilities to find a place to host her class. Simultaneously, she became acquainted with different signing networks and what they had to offer. She came across Sign2Me, a prestigious network of signing professional. Alexa completed the rigorous application, interviewing, and examining process and was accepted into the network, thus making her a Certified Interpreter through Sign2Me. Alexa went on to obtain her business licence, and Baby Steps Signing was born. The Bristol, TN YMCA made her an offer of hosting her class at their facility and she accepted.
Alexa is now the owner of Baby Steps Signing, a baby sign langauge workshop/course, operating out of the Bristol, TN YMCA, as well as through her website. Classes can be attended in-person or virtually, after paying the course fee. Videos of the courses are then made available without limit. Course materials, learning materials, and other products are available for purchase on her site, regardless of enrollment status.