At Cicada Sign, we’re setting out to reshape the freelancing market by providing e-learning courses and video training specifically designed for Deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals. Our ultimate mission is to equip young professionals, or those looking to break into freelancing, with specific resources, tips, tricks and practices that will help level the playing field — while also fostering a supportive community of Deaf freelancing professionals. All of our courses feature American Sign Language (ASL) and a curriculum designed to help break down the notoriously frustrating barriers to access that many Deaf professionals face, especially early in their careers.
Our mission at Cicada Sign is not about assuming we hold all the answers; it's about recognizing that progress comes from genuine collaboration, co-creation, and innovation. We seek to leverage expertise, groundbreaking tools like AI, and a collective entrepreneurial spirit to empower each other.
While Cicada Sign is in just the first chapter of its own story, the concept has already received recognition as a promising venture, backed by the Refugee Investment Network and Impact 5X.
We can’t wait to see how far we can go together!
Aziz set out to create Cicada Sign as a result of two deeply impactful life experiences: that of being a refugee, and that of having a Deaf sister who is herself an entrepreneur. Though both Aziz and Sarah, his sister, have had very different life experiences, Aziz came to realize that they shared a common necessary resilience in the face of barriers.
That resilience, and a collective innovative spirit, propelled them both to where they are today: Aziz a successful educator and entrepreneur, and Sarah is a leader in the health & wellness industry.
Over the years, Aziz determined to combine his two passions: building resources that empower and equip those who have to stand against the odds; and growing as an ally to the Deaf community. Cicada Sign was born.
As Cicada Sign continues to build momentum, Aziz and his team remain committed to researching best practices in the Deaf community and in freelancing industries, with core belief that education — and especially e-learning — can help overcome geographical, structural, and systemic barriers to success.
We have taken the symbol of the Cicada to represent our journey and our collaborative, resourceful efforts to shape the future. The cicada's life cycle, with its periods of dormancy and emergence, mirrors the personal growth that can be achieved through our courses, as well as the barriers overcome throughout this process of transformation.