yomma is a company that provides services uniting art, technical expertise and sign language. The services we provide include, among other things, events and event management, sign language courses and website design.
yomma – it’s a word that many people think they know at first, but then they realise that it’s completely unfamiliar and just might stand for something completely new. yomma is the name of the new service company created by the two of us, Mathias Schäfer and Benedikt J. Sequeira Gerardo.
yomma is a made-up word, created out of three ideas. First, we have the philosophy of the company, which sees everything in a constant state of change. A full stop would stand for an absolute conclusion, whereas a comma always leaves something open. A comma instead of a full stop is the first idea going into the name.
Our second idea is that we enjoy enabling other creative and competent people to implement and realise their ideas. In this sense, we’d like to say to these people “Come on in! You’re very welcome here.“ We say “Komm mal“, which often turns into “Komm ma“ in casual German.
And our third idea is that, with competence and willingness to try, we seem to be able to make things possible that previously seemed impossible. Instead of immediately saying “Nope, we can’t do that!“ we say “Yo, why not? We’ll have a look and see how it goes.“ “Comma“, “Komm ma“ and “Yo“ are the ingredients that went into our name: yomma.
Sign language teacher and actor Mathias was born Deaf and is the father of three children. After completing his Abitur (secondary school qualification) in Essen, Mathias Schäfer studied business administration at the University of Potsdam and was a student of sign language teachers of the first generation such as Gunter Trube (formerly Puttrich-Reignard), Tomas Zander and Raoul Figura. Five years later, in 2002, Mathias founded the first pure sign language school in Germany, “Visual Hands“ along with Peter Schick. At this time, Mathias initially gave German classes for hearing-impaired people. This was followed by book readings in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache – DGS). Entire books were presented in DGS such as “Perfume“, “The Swarm“ (by Frank Schätzing), “Pope Joan“ and “Eragon“. After Visual Hands, Mathias did social work for three years for the service provider “unerhört e.V.“ for both individual cases and families. It was there that he got to know the realities of life for many Deaf people of various ages and with varying socioeconomic status. Mathias is active in “Theater Türkis“ and has been involved in several theatre pieces.
Benedikt J. Sequeira Gerardo
State certified sign language interpreter and actor Benedikt was born Deaf, the third generation in a Deaf family. He was born and grew up in the state of Hesse and completed his Abitur (secondary school qualification) in Essen. After this, he spent a year in Denmark, taking part in the course programme “frontrunners” at community college. There, he improved, in particular, his skills in International Sign. Then he studied Deaf Studies and sign language at university in Berlin while, at the same time, completing the graduate degree “Taube Gebärdensprachdolmetscherinnen und -dolmetscher“ (Deaf sign language interpreting) at the University of Hamburg. He was active as a member of the board for the Deutsche Gehörlosen-Jugend e.V. (German Deaf Youth) and the Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V. (German Deaf Association) and is a founding member of the theatre group “Theater Türkis“ (Turquoise Theatre).
Coordinator for sign language films and translations
Henrik was born and grew up in Hamburg, so he is a genuine Hamburg boy. He became Deaf at the age of three. With a background in manual work, he was a self-employed master tiler for several years before he came to Berlin almost by chance in 2012. He gave up tiling and devoted himself to an entirely new role. A company put him in charge of building up the area of sign language film production and translation and he had resounding success in this role. With these skills and knowledge, he came to yomma in 2014. Henrik provides his expert support at all stages of a project. Owing to his many years of experience as a project manager, he ensures trouble-free communication and the perfect intermeshing of all processes and in so doing, contributes to the success of every production.
Learn Sign Language in Berlin
Anyone can learn German Sign Language (DGS) with us. Whether you want to learn for work, study or just for your own interest, we would like to provide you with classes highly motivated teachers and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. We have a variety of courses, some running for a weekend, others for a period of 1-2 weeks, and others that are once a week. We offer beginner courses, advanced courses as well as courses on a special topic.
Accessibility for everyone
Would you like to make your product or service accessible to everyone but don’t know how? Welcome to yomma! We develop individual concepts for the implementation of accessible media.
It is our goal to use our professional translating and interpreting services to facilitate full and sustainable participation in society for people with particular linguistic needs and ensure that they have access to all forms of media.
We will translate your media into sign language. In our film studio in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, we produce BITV-complying navigation films for websites, sign language guides for museums and exhibitions, promotional films for public and private institutions and all kinds of translations.