Deafway Global

Transforming lives through Deaf-Driven innovative approaches to Bible translation.

aka Deaf Pathway Global   |   Brentwood, TN   |


Transforming lives through Deaf-driven innovative approaches to Bible translation, thereby empowering Deaf persons to utilize and share God's Message in their natural language.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Vesta Sauter

Main address

PO Box 2267

Brentwood, TN 37024 USA

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NTEE code info

Deaf/Hearing Impaired Centers, Services (P87)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Reality: 72 million Deaf around the world with 200+ distinct sign languages identified among them. None of these Sign Languages have a written form. As a result, the majority have no Bible translation in their sign language. If a Deaf person wants to access Scripture they have to do so through the written form of their locality's spoken language, if there is one, meaning they have to use a second language that is not their own to access Scripture. If they do not read and write that language, access is thwarted. 1,534 Deaf die daily never having heard God's Word in their language, not knowing who God is or what He did for them. This is the predicament that Deaf Pathway strives to change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Bible Translation

The Deaf Pathway Global translation team transforms print translations of Biblical narratives and passages into a complete picture or visual source. Individual scenes of Biblical narratives are drawn, color-coded, and presented chronologically as part of the storyboard script. This is but one phase of the process that seeks to harness the Sign Roots at the heart of every sign language.

Most sign language groups around the world share foundational and universal concepts that we call Sign Roots -- a unique blend of facial expressions, body movements, and hand signals that are iconic in nature.

Deaf Pathway Global is currently employing this visual-based approach to Bible translation, in conjunction with the universally shared Sign Roots used by the Deaf in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, and East Asia. We have 200+ sign languages to reach. Shortly, additional translations into the languages of the Deaf Slovenians, Deaf Croatian, and Deaf Serbians will begin.

Population(s) Served
People of Middle Eastern descent
People of Latin American descent
People of European descent
People of Asian descent
People of African descent

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

For each of these 200+ sign languages, our goal is to provide 300 strategically chosen Bible Stories and passages translated into each sign language. The chosen stories are foundational and one story set leads naturally to the next. The topics covered are Entry, Evangelism, Discipleship, Healthy Church formation, Leadership Development, and Networking. Once the base 300 stories and passages are completed in a particular sign language, we will begin to add additional themed story sets moving toward a complete translation of scripture.

We utilize a five-phase translation process that incorporates unique features common to all sign languages known as SignRoots. Our translation process culminates in a SignRoots based translation package of a Bible story or passage complete along with developed tools needed to support translation into the world's 200+ sign languages. Translation teams composed of Nationals overseas then use these packages to translate the story into their own sign language. The resulting translation after rigorous screening is then placed with other completed translations of stories and passages in that language on our Bible app for anyone who uses that sign language to peruse.

The translation teams we work with have been chosen after successfully completing intensive training. The team is then paired with a member of the Sign Roots translation team that translated the story/passage as a resource to guide them through the same five-phase translation process used to develop the Sign Roots translation.

Our organization uses a unique Deaf-led, Deaf-driven approach to the translation process. Our translation teams and the resource teams that support their efforts are 100% Deaf. They know the culture, the experience of being Deaf that is common to all Deaf persons regardless of which sign language they use. They know how the Deaf process information as it is absorbed cognitively. They know what it is like to not have Scripture access. They have been there. This uniquely qualifies them for the work we do and gives them a unique perspective in approaching the task. We ensure that they have some of the best training and preparation available in the field of translation. We constantly check and recheck our processes against the standards of the field to make sure we always go beyond the minimum standard that is required. Our people bring to the table decades of experience working and living among Deaf People Groups across the world. They have real-world experience and not just classroom training only. We have relationships with key organizations involved in translation work that we constantly reference to keep our teams current and constantly challenged. We provide every possible resource and support to our translation teams that we can.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve the global Deaf Community.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    We have liasons who regularly collect feedback from the people we serve.,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We regularly conduct community tests of our translation work in various communities around the world. The feedback we receive from these community tests strengthens our work and our relationship with the community because they have a voice and a hand in the final product. Also, the translation teams that Nationals take part in around the globe sometimes come up with ideas on how to improve our translation processes which are extremely helpful. These ideas are collected, passed on to the people who have responsibility relating to the area the idea falls under, shared with other translation teams for testing. After collecting the feedback from each of the translation teams involved in the test, it is used to determine if the suggested idea becomes a part of the translation process or not.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have always had the mindset of empowering those we serve to reach and serve others in their community. We provide the tools, training, and guidance. The final product that goes into the Bible app is uniquely their creation. They plan and strategize as they work. There is a huge amount of behind-the-scenes support they are given throughout the process from beginning to end. The change we see in them is quite remarkable. Many of them have experienced daily discrimination, oppression from society and even their own families. Constantly told what they can't do because they are Deaf. As they see their feedback is wanted, valued, and acted upon, their confidence grows and they take on more responsibility for, and ownership of the work they are doing.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Occasional technical issues. (Internet) Pandemic related issues.,


Deafway Global

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Deafway Global

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Scott Harris

Mission Increase

Grant Lovejoy


Victor Hou


Robert Moore

Gardner-Webb University

Aric Randolph

Brentwood Baptist Church

Betty Stirsman

Brentwood Baptist Church

Don McDonald

Merrill Lynch

Brian Coates

Brentwood Baptist Church

Paul Yount


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.