Basic ASL for Library Staff Resources

ASL Manual Alphabet (printable .pdf) Fingerspelling practice tool.

Week 1 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

Manners Signs 0:55 (video)

Deaf Culture PEPNet Tipsheet by Professor Linda Siple, Assistant Professor Leslie Greer, and Associate Professor Barbra Ray Holcomb, all of the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

Online ASL Dictionaries:

  • (Browsing access free; searching from the site available for subscribers only. To earch this site without an account, go to and search “Signing Savvy” followed by the word you are looking for)



Week 2 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

Communication Tips from Deaf Cultural Resource Center (Library for Deaf Action)

Guidelines for Effective Communication with Deaf, Late-Deafened, and Hard of Hearing People (Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

Asking wh-word questions in ASL (Handspeak)

Link for purchasing masks with clear panels from WithLOVEAandJ – proceeds support Deaf Blind Camp of Maryland


Week 3 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

Numbers 1 through 10 in ASL (Lifeprint) 7:22 (video)

5 Parameters of ASL (ASL That) 1:05 (video)

Asking a Yes/No Question in ASL (Handspeak)


Week 4 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

How ASL and English Differ: A Brief Example (Kathy MacMillan) 1:55 (video)

Recommended Reading: Seeing Language in Sign: The Work of William C. Stokoe by Jane Maher




Week 5 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

The Origin of ASL – A Brief History (ASL That) 3:50 (video)

Caterpillar: ASL Poem by Ian Sanborn (Sorenson) 3:13 (video)

Recommended Reading:


Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha’s Vineyard by Nora Ellen Groce. Harvard University Press, 1985

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte. Scholastic, 2020

The Printer by Myron Uhlberg. Peachtree, 2003.


Week 6 Vocabulary Handout (printable .pdf)

Best Practices for Wearing Masks When Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Technology Resources from the National Association of the Deaf:


Resources for Learning American Sign Language

Resources about Deaf Culture and History

Resources for Educators and Librarians

Resources for Signing in Storytime or the Classroom

Resources for Finding and Working with Interpreters