Elevate! champions the power of film entertainment in bringing deaf and hearing people together by promoting and empowering the international sign language communities through advocacy, facilitation, and sustainability.


Less than 2.1 percent of people with a disability make it on America’s prime time television shows. We are committed to bringing deaf and hard of hearing and hearing signers together to elevate and unfold possibilities for rising stars. Elevate! aims to provide talent and employment opportunities for hearing signers and deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals. We empower the world of storytelling for deaf children and adults.


Elevate! is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization led by deaf and hard of hearing professionals with support from hearing professionals. Founded in 1993, Hands Across Communications, now called ‘Elevate!’ emerged in response to the need for new and innovative arts programs that addressed the lack of deaf and hard of hearing artists in the entertainment industry. Elevate! is committed to educating, consulting, and advising entertainment industry leaders on hiring, promoting, and advocating for the advancement of deaf and hard of hearing talent and crew.


The best way to support the inclusion of deaf children and adults in the entertainment industry is by providing  them access to diverse stimulating and accessible opportunities. One way to build on the inclusion efforts is by enabling participation in all aspects of the entertainment industry, such as making films, acting and crewing in films, hosting film festivals, workshops, and elevating perceptions of everybody as peers sharing the same goals.

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