Barbara Hamilton-MBambara

From ASL Interpreter to Instructor: Barbara’s Baby Signs® Story

Barbara Hamilton Mbambara

In the heart of Cleveland, Ohio, a passionate advocate for sign language and communication, Barbara Hamilton-Mbambara, has been making a significant impact through her Baby Signs® classes. Let’s delve into Barbara’s background, her journey into teaching Baby Signs®, and the rewarding experiences she has encountered.

Barbara’s Journey:

Barbara’s fascination with American Sign Language (ASL) began in her childhood, where she encountered a Deaf girl in her neighborhood. She was intrigued as to how this girl communicated with her parents and siblings, seeing that they were all hearing. She wanted to talk with her, but couldn’t, because she didn’t know sign language. Unfortunately, the family moved away from the neighborhood. However, life took an unexpected turn when she found herself stepping into a Deaf church years later. To her surprise and delight, the Deaf girl from her childhood was among the congregation.

Barbara’s visits to the Deaf church became a source of joy and connection. Despite lacking prior knowledge of signing and having no Deaf individuals in her immediate circle, she felt a deep sense of belonging. The positive atmosphere, the pastor’s leadership, and the vibrant community inspired Barbara to take a bold step – she decided to join the church.

Driven by her newfound passion for sign language, Barbara embarked on a remarkable journey. She made the courageous decision to return to college and pursue a degree in Deaf Interpretive Studies. The excitement of this journey was palpable as she registered for the program and eagerly embraced the learning process.

Upon completing her studies, Barbara ventured into the world of sign language as a freelance interpreter, contributing to her local community. Her journey didn’t stop there; she transitioned into educational interpreting, bringing sign language into the realm of learning and understanding.

This transformative path ultimately led Barbara to the Baby Signs® program. Encouraged by her background as an interpreter and her commitment to fostering communication, Barbara became an Independent Certified Instructor (ICI), sharing the joy of signing with families in Cleveland, Ohio, and beyond.

Teaching Experience and Location:

With nearly two years of experience, Barbara conducts Baby Signs® classes in Strongsville, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Her classes aim to bring the gift of signing to families, fostering communication and bonding.

Rewards of Teaching:

For Barbara, the most rewarding aspect of her work is witnessing individuals, who have never signed before, embrace the joy of communication through signing. She finds fulfillment in sharing this beautiful gift within the intimate circles of families and friends. Reflecting on the impact of the Baby Signs® program, Barbara emphasizes how it provides families with a unique and beautiful gift. This gift not only enhances communication between infants and caregivers but is also shared and celebrated within their broader social circles.

Success Stories and Memorable Moments:

One memorable moment Barbara recalls is a lady from her first Parent Workshop class who, despite not having children, attended to learn sign language as an EMS worker. Her motivation to better communicate with potential Deaf patients in the ER touched Barbara deeply.

Advice for Parents and Professionals:

Barbara’s advice to those interested in teaching babies to sign is simple yet profound – be patient, have fun, enjoy the journey, and be fully committed. She assures that the rewards will be lifelong treasures for both parent and child.

Impact on Children’s Health and Education Organizations:

Barbara extends the reach of the Baby Signs® program by teaching classes to foster care families at Pathway Caring for Children. The feedback from both families and their director has been overwhelmingly positive, emphasizing the program’s significant contribution to improving communication with infants.

In conclusion, Barbara Hamilton-Mbambara’s dedication to teaching Baby Signs® is not just a profession but a heartfelt mission to empower families through the gift of communication. Her journey showcases the transformative power of sign language in building connections and fostering understanding among diverse communities.

If you reside in the Cleveland area and would like to learn more about Barbara’s Baby Signs® Classes, please visit: or email her:

You can also follow her journey on social media through the Teach Us 2 Sign social media pages, where you can stay updated on her classes, success stories, and helpful tips on incorporating sign language into your family’s daily life.

    Visit to learn more about the Baby Signs® Instructor Program or email