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Welcome to Start ASL

If you are interested in learning American Sign Language, then you've come to the right place!

Start ASL offers a variety of material and resources ranging from free online lessons to courses specially designed for Students, Teachers, Homeschoolers, and Organizations; as well as an individualized Tutoring Program for those who desire one-on-one learning. We have grown to a large community of over 5,000 students and are always happy to welcome new learners!

Have a look around and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

The Start ASL Signing Team

We have a core team of professionals working to ensure that the best ASL has to offer is made available to you in an easy to understand manner.
Meet the core team!

Michelle Jay is the founder of StartASL.com. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Studies, with an emphasis in teaching, from one of the nation’s premier programs at California State University, Northridge. Michelle is a published author and has contributed thought-provoking articles to academic publishers such as Greenhaven Press. Her unique articles have done much to support Deaf Culture, and have been printed in resource publications such as American Chronicle and Perspectives on Diseases & Disorders: Deafness & Hearing Impairments..

Jared DeBusk

Jared DeBusk is a Deaf actor and model. He was born in a small country town called Brooksville, Florida. He is of Dutch, German, French, and Irish descent. DeBusk began acting as a child and he knew that he wanted to be an actor. He trained at several schools and he has performed in various plays. He is a recent graduate from University of South Florida with a BA in Communication Performance Studies.

Crystal Lott is an EIPA and NIC Advanced certified ASL interpreter. She first started learning ASL in 2000 at Glendale Community College. She graduated from the Interpreter Training Program (ITP) at Phoenix College and currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performances from Arizona State University West. Crystal was involved with the AZ Deaf Theatre for many years and is now getting plugged into the Deaf Community in Los Angeles. She aspires to work with Deaf West theatre.

Mark Loyd is an RID certified ASL interpreter. Mark comes from a theatrical background and first started learning ASL in 1993 after meeting a Deaf person for the first time and falling in love with the language. He learned ASL primarily through the Deaf community and Interpreter Training Programs (ITP) in Kansas. For the past 16 years, Mark has worked in a variety of settings–mental health, medical, educational, theatre, video relay services (VRS), and more.

Darcy French-Myerson is an interpreter with Bachelor’s degrees in English-ASL Interpreting and Theatre from Columbia College in Chicago. Darcy has interpreted in schools from the elementary to collegiate level, hospitals, big corporations, and in the non-profit sector and the Arts. Darcy has also taught English and Math to Deaf adults seeking their GEDs. Currently, Darcy works as a freelance interpreter throughout Los Angeles and continues to be involved in performance and the Arts.

Mando Garza is an aspiring Deaf actor, business professional and jack of all trades. He first started learning American Sign Language at the age of 14 after fully realizing that oral programs are increasingly inefficient and counterproductive due to various factors. Mando has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He has been involved with the theatre at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) for four years including acting, monologues, and tour.

Christine Jones is an ITP (Interpreter Training Program) graduate and Deaf Studies student at California State University, Northridge. She is a volunteer interpreter and is currently looking to start a steady interpreting career.

Deborah Kanter is Deaf and comes from a primarily hearing family, except for one of her brothers who is Deaf. Deborah was introduced to American Sign Language when she was 5 years old. Deborah is currently attending college and majoring in nursing.

Cristian Tun is hard of hearing and started learning ASL when he was 13 years old. He is currently attending college and majoring in acting.

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Course Levels

6,257

Students

9

Signers

136

Courses Completed

Featured Students

I took all 3 classes and was amazed at the attention to detail taken to design this course. This course is organized, well-thought out, and fun. I learned a lot! The videos were my favorite part. Since I already had quite a bit of vocabulary under my belt, I wanted practice reading a variety of signers while learning ASL grammar. This course gave me just that. I highly recommend it for anyone learning ASL. THANK YOU, Start ASL!

Jeff Gordon

SAN JOSE, CA

I am a single mom and unfortunately there are not a lot of affordable options in which I can be with my daughter and still learn ASL. Thank you for making this option available to those who may be not be able to learn in an adult classroom environment and are also hearing. I love this site. I just went through the first three units as a refresher and not sure why I ever left the site. Keep up the awesome work!

Jaeda Raines

CHICAGO, IL

I have thoroughly enjoyed this site. This site has helped my husband and I understand and pick up ASL so quickly. I’m hard of hearing, and my husband and I love the ability to learn together. We now are able to better communicate to the fullest we have ever been able to do. Thank you so much.

Cortnie

PHOENIX, AZ

I’ve been infatuated with American Sign Language for the longest time, but have just recently started to teach myself. The lessons on this website have been a tremendous help and I’m learning very quickly. Thank you so much, I’m really enjoying the experience.

Jade

FT. WAYNE, IN

This class has enhanced my relationship with my daughter. We have conversations online now with Skype. The conversations I watch online help me see the nuances of conversation and the useful techniques of facial and other expressions. After the first few times I signed with my daughter, I started to feel more at ease. Trying to read the signs seems to be the most fun for me. I am learning what I set out to do with the motivation of sharing this with my little girl. Stick with it and you will feel the success through your conversations. Thank you for the opportunity.

Frank Cassianna

MYRTLE POINT, OR

I have always been intrigued with the beauty of sign language, but I never made time to study the language. However, the more I thought about it, the stronger the desire became to just try it. As I searched the web, I came across Start ASL and decided to register. I began the courses and was amazed with the progress I was making after only a few lessons. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. During the first two weeks of my membership I traveled to Dallas to visit my sister. While there, we attended church and I sat in the deaf and hard of hearing section so I could watch the interpreter. The interpreter signed and asked me if I was deaf. I signed that I’m a student. She instructed me to sit in the third row where a deaf gentleman was sitting. Before I took my seat, I signed to the man that my name was Denise. He began to sign his name but he was going way too fast for me. I was able to sign to him, “Please sign slow.” Upon my request, he slowed down. I understood that his name is Jerry and I signed, “Nice to meet you” and he signed it back. I felt so good inside – I couldn’t believe I was communicating after only a few lessons. And now I’m teaching my 12 month old granddaughter ASL and it’s all thanks to Start ASL.

Denise Blackshear

VIRGINIA

This class has really helped me so far. I started ASL a few weeks ago and I was having a hard time being able to get the language down. Then a friend told me about this site and I have been picking it up much easier since. I am starting to have some better experiences with some of the people I know that have ASL down very well. It’s really a great experience to learn all of it and be able to communicate with them without even speaking. Thank you for providing this site, it’s been a huge help.

Justin

CALIFORNIA

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