Deaf Culture Do’s and Don’ts

Learning the nuances of Deaf Culture can be difficult for new American Sign Language students. Below you can find some tips and insights about interacting in the Deaf community submitted by signers, interpreters, Deaf people, and more! Making the World More Welcoming to the Deaf Community by Danielle Pelletier | 26 January 2021 Since beginning […]

Juliette Gordon Low – Deaf Founder of the Girl Scouts

Juliette Gordon Low was a deaf woman who was best known for being the founder of the Girl Scouts organization. Juliette Gordon Low Articles by Students Who is your favorite person from deaf history? Juliette Gordon Low, a Hero to All People by Jodi J (Parsons, KS, USA) | January 24, 2013 Perhaps no greater tribute […]

Teach Your Baby Sign Language

12 Easy Steps for Communication with Your Baby Let me guess…your baby is crying uncontrollably and you want to know what he wants so your ears can take a break. No? Maybe, then, you want to learn how to keep that from happening. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Teaching baby sign language to […]

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven was completely deaf for the last part of his life and yet managed to produce some of the greatest music of all time. Beethoven Articles by Students Who is your favorite person from deaf history? Beethoven by Kimberly Brunner | April 12, 2017 “Oh, I love this song.” My Grandmother smiles and […]

Abbe de L’Epee

Abbe de L’Epee, a French Catholic priest, founded the first social and religious association for deaf people around 1750. L’Epee’s full name was Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee and he was one of the most important people in the history of sign language. A common story retold throughout the history of sign language claims that […]

LeRoy Colombo – Famous Deaf Lifeguard

LeRoy Colombo was a famous deaf lifeguard entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for saving 907 lives. Leroy Colombo Articles by Students LeRoy Colombo by Leah Ward (Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.) | January 4, 2010 LeRoy Colombo was born on December 23, 1905 in Galveston, Texas. He was diagnosed with spinal meningitis when he […]

William Stokoe

William Stokoe – or William C. Stokoe Jr. – changed the course of American Sign Language history. Before Stokoe, ASL was not seen as a real language. It was seen as meaningless gestures or pantomime and because of this, ASL wasn’t even considered for use in the education of deaf children–a type of education they […]

Laurent Clerc

Laurent Clerc played a significant part in the history of American Sign Language and was the first deaf teacher of the deaf in America. He was also among the first of these educators in the world and has been known as “The Apostle of the Deaf in America” and “The Father of the Deaf.” Not […]

Laura Redden Searing – First Deaf Female Journalist

Laura Redden Searing was born in 1839 and is best known for being the first deaf female journalist. She was sent by the St. Louis Republican to cover the American Civil War in 1860 and lived a life where she never allowed her deafness or age to hold her back. Laura Redden Searing Articles by Students […]

Laura Bridgman – The First Helen Keller

Laura Bridgman was the first deaf-blind person to learn language. When you think about the first deaf-blind child to be educated, you will most likely think of Helen Keller. In reality, though, Helen’s frustrated teacher was not the first to attempt this type of education. She was born on December 21, 1829 in Hanover, New […]

Helen Keller – The First Deaf-Blind College Graduate

Helen Keller is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. And that is so amazing because she was deaf and blind. When I was in elementary school, we learned all about Helen Keller. I completed a report on her and dressed up as Anne Sullivan in the fourth grade. Helen is the most famous deaf-blind person […]

Sean Berdy

Sean Berdy is a deaf actor, comedian and dancer. He was in Sandlot 2, Legend of the Mountain Man, The Deaf Family, and is best known for his role as Emmett on the hit TV show Switched at Birth. Sean Berdy Articles by Students Sean Berdy by Alex (Buffalo) | May 15, 2014 O.K., O.K., […]

Deaf President Now (DPN)

A big event that occurred in Deaf history was the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement. DPN was a huge protest at Gallaudet University that started in March of 1988. The students, faculty, and staff at the university as well as the national deaf community were united and fought together for one clear goal… To finally […]

Julia Brace

Julia Brace was a deaf-blind girl who was born before both Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller. She was successfully educated, but lost the credit as the first to Helen Keller. Julia Brace Articles by Students Julia Brace by Anonymous | October 6, 2016 The famous deaf person I choose was Julia Brace. She lived a […]

Heather Whitestone – The First Deaf Miss America

Heather Whitestone McCallum is known as “Miss Deaf America” (even though Miss Deaf America is a different pageant). She was the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss America in the Miss America pageant. Heather is both beautiful and intelligent, and it’s nice to see that the panelists didn’t discriminate against her because she’s deaf. […]

George William Veditz

George Veditz was a former president of the National Association of the Deaf of the United States and was one of the first to film American Sign Language. George William Veditz Articles by Students George Veditz by Alyssa Mattingly | October 20, 2016 “ASL is not just a different language, it is a different medium […]

Edward Miner Gallaudet

When Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet died in 1851, his youngest son Edward Miner Gallaudet continued his legacy in deaf education, played a big part in the history of American Sign Language, and founded the first college for the deaf. Edward Miner Gallaudet Articles by Students Who is your favorite person from deaf history? Edward Miner Gallaudet by […]

ASL Dictionary – Learn Essential Vocabulary

This ASL dictionary is for you! We have included over 1,000 words and phrases from our Complete 3-Level ASL Course vocabulary lists. This means that if you learn this essential vocabulary from our dictionary, you can start having basic conversations in sign language before you know it! Are you intimidated by massive ASL dictionaries? Then this is the right place to […]

Sign Language for Infants

Step 3 – Start Talking Are you ready to start signing? This is so exciting! It’s now time to choose the signs you are going to start with. Go ahead and choose a small handful of signs from the vocabulary link below (be sure to include not only need-based signs but sign that will excite […]

American Sign Language Phrases

A great introduction to learning ASL is studying American Sign Language phrases. While doing this, you can get a great taste of vocabulary as well as begin to understand the difference between ASL grammar and English grammar. For all of our phrase videos, we share the English phrase as well as the ASL gloss so […]

Teach Your Baby Sign Language

Step 9 – Advancing Your child is growing and advancing! How exciting! You are now probably combining signs and speech with your child. This can greatly enhance his vocabulary as well as give him the ability to learn new concepts that he may not be able to verbalize. There are many more fun things you […]

Learn Baby Signs

Step 6 – More Signs Moving on from basic signs you learned in Step 3, choose some secondary words from the vocabulary link below. Try to branch out a little more from the first words you learned and more closely point out the world your baby is growing into: => Baby Sign Language Vocabulary You […]

Free Online Sign Language Classes (ASL 1 – Unit 9)

ASL 1 – Unit 9 In this unit of the free online sign language classes, you will be learning about verbs. Vocabulary Jobs & Careers Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these vocabulary words. Vocabulary ACCOUNTANT ACTOR AIRFORCE ARCHITECT ARMY/MILITARY ARTIST ASSISTANT BASEBALL PLAYER BLOG BOSS BUILDING CARPENTER […]

Free Sign Language Class (ASL 1 – Unit 1)

ASL 1 – Unit 1 In this unit of the free sign language class, you will be learning how to fingerspell. Vocabulary First Signs Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Good afternoon Good morning Goodbye Goodnight Hello How are you? My name […]

Free Sign Language Classes (ASL 2 – Unit 8)

ASL 2 – Unit 8 Inflection In this unit of the free sign language classes, you will be learning about inflection. Vocabulary House & Home Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Excuse me I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have an important […]

Free Sign Language Lesson (ASL 2 – Unit 6)

ASL 2 – Unit 6 Pluralization In this unit of the free sign language lesson, you will be learning about pluralization. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases Is that true? Sorry, I already have plans. What do you think? Who do you live with? […]

Learn American Sign Language (ASL 1 – Unit 7)

ASL 1 – Unit 7 In this unit, you will learn American Sign Language pronouns and how to index. Vocabulary Friends & Family Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Are you married? Do you have children? How many siblings do you have? […]

Learn American Sign Language (ASL 3 – Unit 2)

ASL 3 – Unit 2 Advanced Role Shifting In this unit as you learn American Sign Language, you will be learning advanced role shifting techniques. Vocabulary Math & Money Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases 11 + 15 = 26 235 x […]

Learn ASL (American Sign Language) Online (ASL 1 – Unit 5)

ASL 1 – Unit 5 In this unit, you will learn ASL word order. Vocabulary Colors, Time, & Routine Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Are you hungry? How did you get here? I have to go home. I took the bus […]

Learn ASL (ASL 2 – Unit 12)

ASL 2 – Unit 12 Final Unit In this unit as you learn ASL, you will be wrapping up what you have learned so far. Conversation Comprehension 12.1 Turn to page 14 in your workbook. In the video below, Deborah and Mark are going to have a conversation. In your workbook, some of the dialogue […]

Learn ASL Online (ASL 2 – Unit 7)

ASL 2 – Unit 7 Conveying Distance In this unit as you learn ASL online, you will be learning how to convey distance. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases I want to introduce you to my friend Julie. My cell phone can email, send […]

Learn Sign Language Free (ASL 1 – Unit 10)

ASL 1 – Unit 10 In this unit as you learn sign language free, you will learn about ASL negation. Vocabulary Emotions & Character Traits Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases I feel OK. I feel tired. I feel wonderful. Vocabulary ANNOYING […]

Learn Sign Language Online (ASL 1 – Unit 3)

ASL 1 – Unit 3 In this unit as you learn sign language online, you will learn about the five sign parameters. Vocabulary School & Education Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Are you a student? Are you deaf? Are you learning […]

Learn Sign Language Online (ASL 2 – Unit 10)

ASL 2 – Unit 10 Object Locations In this unit as you learn sign language online, you will be learning how to sign object locations. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases I put a camera on the top of my front door entrance. My […]

Start Learning American Sign Language (ASL 1 – Unit 2)

ASL 1 – Unit 2 In this unit, you will be learning American Sign Language numbers and Deaf Culture. Vocabulary Food & Drink Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Can you (please) sign slower? Can you (please) sign that again? Can you […]

Start Learning American Sign Language (ASL 2 – Unit 9)

ASL 2 – Unit 9 Room Descriptions In this unit as you start learning American Sign Language, you will be learning how to sign room descriptions. Vocabulary Technology & Household Goods Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases How do you wash your […]

Start Learning Sign Language (ASL 1 – Intro)

ASL 1 Introduction Learning sign language is so much fun! Unfortunately, many ASL classes are not taught correctly, expensive, and scheduled. The ASL classes on this website are much different. They are organized, straight to the point, fun, free, and at your own pace. Materials you will need for the class ASL 1 WORKBOOK (PDF) […]

Start Learning Sign Language Online (ASL 1 – Unit 4)

ASL 1 – Unit 4 In this unit, you will learn more about the five sign parameters because you are learning sign language online. Vocabulary Animals, Home, & Transportation Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Are your parents Deaf? Can you read […]

Learning Sign Language Online (ASL 2 – Unit 11)

ASL 2 – Unit 11 Describing Objects In this unit as you are learning sign language online, you will be learning how to describe objects. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases At the beach we wear sun block, sunglasses, and use an umbrella for […]

Online ASL Classes (ASL 1 – Unit 12)

ASL 1 – Unit 12 In this unit of the online ASL classes, you will learn the rest of the important ASL numbers. Vocabulary Advanced Numbers Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases How old are you? I am 20 years old. See […]

American Sign Language Classes (ASL 1 – Unit 8)

ASL 1 – Unit 8 In this unit of the sign language classes, you will learn more about pronouns and directional verbs. Vocabulary Physical Features & Clothing Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these vocabulary words. Vocabulary BALD BEARD BELT BLACK BRACELET BROKEN CLOTHES DIRTY DRESS FAT FRECKLES […]

Free American Sign Language Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 3)

ASL 3 – Unit 3 Narratives In this unit of the free American Sign Language classes, you will be learning the basics of how to construct narratives. Vocabulary Life Events Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Her least favorite person got laid […]

Free American Sign Language Course (ASL 3 – Unit 8)

ASL 3 – Unit 8 Amenities and Features In this unit of the free American Sign Language course, you will be learning how to sign amenities and features. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases Her car is black and has a loud engine. My […]

American Sign Language Free Classes (ASL 2 – Unit 3)

ASL 2 – Unit 3 Time Duration and Regularity In this unit of the American Sign Language free classes, you will be learning about time duration and regularity. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases Every morning I wake up happy because I sleep all […]

Free American Sign Language Instruction (ASL 2 – Unit 4)

ASL 2 – Unit 4 Temporal Aspect In this unit of the free American Sign Language instruction, you will be learning about temporal aspect. Vocabulary Activities & Hobbies Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Could you go to the store and pick […]

Free Online Sign Language Lessons (ASL 2 – Unit 1)

ASL 2 – Unit 1 Sentence Types In this unit of the online sign language lessons, you will be learning more sentence types. Vocabulary Food & Drink Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Hockey is the best sport to watch live. How […]

Learn Sign Language Online (ASL 1 – Unit 6)

ASL 1 – Unit 6 In this unit as you learn sign language online, you will be learning about ASL sentence types. Vocabulary Sports & Music Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these vocabulary words. Vocabulary BASEBALL BASKETBALL BASS BOAT BOWLING DANCE DRUMS FALL-DOWN FAST FIRST FOOTBALL GAME […]

American Sign Language Online Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 1)

ASL 3 – Unit 1 Role Shifting In this unit of the American Sign Language online classes, you will be learning how to role shift. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases For this job you will need to check your email and clean your […]

Free American Sign Language Classes (ASL 2 – Unit 5)

ASL 2 – Unit 5 Classifiers In this unit of the free American Sign Language classes, you will be learning about classifiers. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases Do you mind if I borrow your car? I don’t mind that you borrow the car, […]

Free ASL Online Classes (ASL 2 – Unit 2)

ASL 2 – Unit 2 Time Signs In this unit of the ASL online classes, you will be learning about time signs. Vocabulary Seasons & Holidays Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases How was your weekend? I am a college student and […]

ASL Online Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 11)

ASL 3 – Unit 11 Final Unit In this unit of the ASL online classes, we will be wrapping up what you’ve learned in this class. Expression Assignment 3-5 To practice your storytelling expression skills, I want you to use your webcam (or a video camera) and sign your favorite fairy tale. This should be […]

Free Online Sign Language Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 4)

ASL 3 – Unit 4 Accident Narratives In this unit of the free online sign language classes, you will be learning how to sign accident narratives. Vocabulary Health & Medical Care Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases I feel sick with a […]

Geronimo Cardano

Geronimo Cardano played a significant role in the history of sign language–particularly in the history of deaf education. Cardano was an Italian mathematician and physician. He discovered in the 1500s that the deaf were able to be educated by using written words. Before his theory, people believed that it was impossible for people to learn […]

Learn Sign Language Free (ASL 3 – Unit 5)

ASL 3 – Unit 5 Giving Information In this unit as you learn sign language free, you will be learning how to give information. Vocabulary Geography & Culture Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases and vocabulary words. Phrases Germany makes the best cars for winter weather […]

Start Learning Sign Language (ASL 2 – Intro)

ASL 2 Introduction Learning sign language is so much fun! Welcome to the second class in the Start ASL online curriculum! Materials you will need for the class ASL 2 WORKBOOK (PDF) (Required & Free) – You will use the workbook for the class assignments and activities. ASL 2 Vocabulary Study Sheet (PDF) (Helpful & […]

Start Learning Sign Language (ASL 3 – Intro)

ASL 3 Introduction Learning sign language is so much fun! Welcome to the third class in the Start ASL online curriculum! Materials ASL 3 WORKBOOK (PDF) (Required & Free) – You will use the workbook for the class assignments and activities. ASL 3 Vocabulary Study Sheet (PDF) (Helpful & Free) – This is a list […]

Learning Sign Language Online Free (ASL 3 – Unit 9)

ASL 3 – Unit 9 Storytelling In this unit as you learning sign language online free, you will be learning how to tell a story. Vocabulary Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these phrases. Phrases “Beginning and ending a thought” Once upon a time Storytelling Storytelling is very […]

Linda Bove – “Linda the Librarian”

Linda Bove was born on November 30, 1945 in Garfield, New Jersey to deaf parents. She majored in library science at Gallaudet University and received her bachelor’s degree in 1968. She then got into the acting profession and performed for the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) recently after it was formed in 1967. In […]

Online Sign Language Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 6)

ASL 3 – Unit 6 Sign Language Games In this unit of the online sign language classes, you will be learning how to sign sign language games. Vocabulary Games Visit the Online Course Vocabulary Category for this unit to view videos of these vocabulary words. Vocabulary GO AHEAD LEADER LOSE NOT ALLOWED NO-WAY POINT TAKE […]

Online ASL Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 7)

ASL 3 – Unit 7 Handshape Stories and Deaf Jokes In this unit of the online ASL classes, you will be learning about handshape stories and Deaf jokes. Conversation Review 7.1 Turn to page 12 in your workbook. In the video below, Crystal, Christine, and Cristian will have a conversation. Answer the questions in your […]

Dummy Hoy (William Hoy) – The First Deaf Major League Baseball Player

Dummy Hoy made history as the first deaf major league baseball player. He’s also not famous just because he was deaf; he was also a remarkably talented and skilled baseball player. Dummy was anything but dumb. Baseball is known as America’s sport, and Hoy had a lot to do with what happens in baseball today. […]

History of American Sign Language

The history of American Sign Language didn’t truly begin until 1814 when deaf education was introduced to the United States. There is virtually no information about American Sign Language history before this time. Early in the 1800s, there were only a few thousand deaf Americans. No standard signed language existed at this time, but various […]

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas was a deaf undercover specialist for the FBI. She was the inspiration for the TV series Sue Thomas: FBEye, an international speaker, author, and founder of Kennels of Levi: EPEC Service Dogs for people who are physically challenged. She was also the founder of WaterBrooks – a Christian spiritual renewal center – and […]

Famous Deaf Actors – Bringing ASL to Life

Truly Inspirational There have been several famous deaf actors in the media that have made significant contributions to the deaf community and hearing society. If not for them and their influence in mainstream entertainment, deaf awareness may not be where it is today. These famous deaf people changed the Deaf world by showing hearing society […]

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is probably the most influential person in the history of American Sign Language. Gallaudet, along with Laurent Clerc, was responsible for starting the first free public school for the deaf in the United States. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet Articles by Students Who is your favorite person from deaf history? Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet […]

Hearing Loss or Deafness Gain?

Hearing loss is more like “Deafness Gain” to people who are part of Deaf Culture. The loss of hearing is actually a very small part of being a Deaf person. However, it’s very useful to study the implications of deafness when you’re becoming involved in the Deaf community. Most hearing people only see the lack […]

Becoming a Sign Language Interpreter

Becoming an American Sign Language interpreter is a very popular choice for many ASL students. People choose to become interpreters because they love American Sign Language, love Deaf people, and enjoy being exposed to a wide variety of interesting subject matter and experiences. Interpreting is a very fun and rewarding career. You get to wake […]

Start ASL’s Top 150 Basic ASL Sign Language Words

We have compiled a great collection of videos showing the top 150 basic ASL sign language words. These are the words that you should learn first. Learning the signs for these ASL sign language words is a great way to build a basic vocabulary foundation before learning full American Sign Language. These 150 words were […]

Andrew Foster

Andrew Foster is a very important person in Deaf history. He was the first African American Deaf person to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Gallaudet University and is known as the “Father of the Deaf” of Africa because he founded the first school for the deaf there and went on to establish 31 more. Andrew […]

Marlee Matlin – Deaf Academy Award Winner

Marlee Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois on August 24th, 1965. After she came down with the German Measles at the age of eighteen months, she lost her hearing and became deaf. When she was young, she communicated with her family and friends using sign language. When she was seven years old, Marlee started […]