In the Community: ASL Classes at the Hearing and Speech Agency

Learn from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.



(Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

(Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

For pricing and registration information, click here.


Program offerings featured in “In the Community” posts are not affiliated with Stories by Hand and are shared to spread the word about other ASL learning opportunities.

In the Community: Free ASL Classes at the Germantown Library

American Sign Language for Beginners


Sundays, April 8, 15, 22, 29 & May 6, 2018
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Montgomery County Public Libraries, Germantown Library (Lower Level)
19840 Century Blvd, Germantown, MD 20874

Co-sponsored by Montgomery County Association of Hearing Impaired Children (MCAHIC), Montgomery County Public Libraries and the Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library.

In commemoration of Deaf History Month (March 13-April 15), join us.

The emphasis of this class will be placed on communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals through vocabulary development, conversation, and practice. These sessions are appropriate for family members, teachers, child care providers, students ages 14 and older, and anyone who wishes to learn sign language. Beginning 3/19, register online at the library website or call us.

Register online at the library website or call the Germantown Library at  240-777-0110.

Note: These classes are not affiliated by Stories By Hand.  This information is provided as a resource to those seeking ASL instruction in the community.

In the Community: ASL Classes for Children and Adults at the Hearing and Speech Agency

Learn American Sign Language from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.



APRIL 12 – JUNE 10

EVENING CLASSES (Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

ASL 1 | TUESDAYS | 10:00 a.m. – Noon
ASL 2 | WEDNESDAYS | 10:00 a.m. – Noon

Adult ASL classes (10 weeks) are $150. Course materials (book with DVD) are required for ASL 1, ASL 2, and ASL 3 and cost $85. Once purchased, course materials are good for levels 1, 2, and 3, so they only need to be purchased once. Course materials required for ASL 4 and  ASL 5 need only be purchased once. Children’s ASL classes are $100, no materials required. Parents may accompany a registered child during class for an additional $50.

For more information and to register, click here.

New Developments for Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library

Things are moving ahead for Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library, the first of its kind in the country!  Congratulations to Montgomery County Public Library for being selected to host this amazing resource.

Here’s the latest press release:

For Immediate Release: 6/22/2015

Montgomery County Public Libraries Selected to Manage Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL)has been selected by the Maryland State Division of Library Development and Services (MS-DLDS) as the site of the State’s Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL).“This is a true honor for Montgomery County Public Libraries,” Leggett said. “It is a well-deserved recognition of our library system’s long tradition of helping to identify and address the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for resources, collections, programs and technologies.”

Irene Padilla, assistant state superintendent of Libraries (Division of Library Development and Services) said, “Montgomery County Public Libraries’ services are renowned throughout the state of Maryland and across the nation. We are excited that MCPL has agreed to work with the MS-DLDS to ensure that the Deaf Culture Digital Library is the ‘first stop’ information center that will furnish statewide access to deaf resources. DCDL will provide highly competent assistance to Maryland residents and library staff in local public library systems, academic librarians in colleges and universities, and other libraries in the State of Maryland.”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be selected as a site for the DCDL,” said MCPL Director Parker Hamilton. “The Deaf Culture Digital Library is important to MCPL and the community, because it will improve availability and access to a comprehensive collection on deaf culture and programs that will help lead to better appreciation and awareness of deaf culture and the deaf community. We look forward to making resources more readily available to customers in the State of Maryland.”

The groundwork to formalize the foundation of the Deaf Culture Digital Library will take place in 2016, beginning with formation of the DCDL Advisory Board. The Division of Library Development and Services will begin taking applications for membership on the Board in the fall. The Deaf Culture Digital Library will be staffed with a full-time coordinator and an assistant. Additional details will be announced as they become available during the months ahead.

The final report to the Governor on the Deaf Culture Digital Library may be seen at:

For more information about the Deaf Culture Digital Library, contact Susan Cohen at 301-637-2964 or Irene Padilla, 410-767-0444.

Release ID: 15-250
Media Contact: Bonnie Ayers 240-777-6507

Do you know about Project ENABLE?


Project ENABLE is the result of an extraordinary partnership between the Center for Digital Literacy, the School of Information Studies (iSchool@Syracuse) and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. This project provides free online training modules designed for public, academic and school librarians to help them make their libraries truly inclusive for all users. Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, anyone interested in creating accessibility in libraries can access these trainings, and modules can also be customized for individual or group use.

Once you sign up for a free account, you’ll take an initial assessment and then have access to five self-paced training modules, focusing on disability awareness, disability law and policy, creating an accessible library, planning inclusive programs and instruction, and assistive technology in libraries. Each module features interactive learning activities and a brief self-assessment, for a total of ten hours of instruction. Additional resources on the site include a template and checklists for a library accessibility action plan, universal design, Americans with Disability Act compliance, and sample lesson plans for school librarians. A certificate of completion is available for those who complete the training.

With training and resources of this caliber available for free, no librarian has any excuse to plead ignorance about how to provide accessibility. Sign up for a free training account today at

In the Community: Upcoming Kids’ Events and ASL Classes

Here’s a roundup of some upcoming events and classes out in the area.  These are not Stories By Hands events, but we recommend them for anyone who wants more signing in their lives!


Deaf Camps, Inc. Easter Party

Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 5:00-7:30 PM

Location: Christ Church of the Deaf, 1040 S. Beechfield Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21229

All ages and all signing levels welcome!

Admission includes:
* Pancake supper
* Signing Easter Bunny
* Easter egg hunt – begins at 5:45pm
* Crafts

Admission: $6 per person
Children under 12 will receive a FREE picture with the Easter Bunny. Additional pictures $3 each. All proceeds benefit Deaf Camps, Inc’s 2015 scholarship fund.


American Sign Language Classes at the Hearing and Speech Agency

April 14 – June 16; Tuesday Evenings 6pm – 8pm

Location: 5900 Metro Drive,  Baltimore, MD 21215

ASL 1, 2, 3 and 4: $145 per student | Textbook $75

CHILDREN’S ASL: Child only $95 | Parent & Child $150

Registration deadline is April 10, 2015

For more information, click here.


FREE Sign Language for Beginners Class at the Germantown Library

Sundays, April 19, 26, May 3, May 10, 17, 2015 from 2:00—4:00 p.m.
Location: Germantown Library (lower level), 19840 Century Blvd, Germantown, MD 20874   240-777-0110

FIVE SESSIONS (FREE) for individuals who wish to learn basic Sign Language. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary development, conversation and practice Appropriate for family members, teachers, child care providers, students ages 14 and older, and anyone who wishes to learn sign language.  Click here to register online.

Funded by Montgomery County Association of Hearing Impaired Children (MCAHIC). Sponsored by Montgomery County Public Libraries




In the Community: DCI Silent Weekend March 20-22

Looking for an intensive way to improve your signing skills?  Then Deaf Camps, Inc.’sPicture 049 Silent Weekend is for you!  Taking place Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, this completely voices-off weekend will allow you to practice your ASL in a fun, supportive environment.  The Silent Weekend will take place at the beautiful Manidokan Camp and Retreat Center in Knoxville, MD, and proceeds support Deaf Camps, Inc.’s scholarship program.  Participants will enjoy hiking, workshops, s’mores around the campfire and more!  This event is for adult ASL learners; high school students may attend with a parent or guardian.  Full weekend and Saturday only registration available; register by February 20 to receive an early bird discount.  For complete fees and registration information, see

Note: This is not a Stories By Hand event.  Kathy MacMillan will be one of the facilitators in her role as a Deaf Camps, Inc. board member.  Deaf Camps, Inc. is a volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

In the Community: ASL Story Times at DC Public Libraries

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Week (January 11 – 18, 2015)

A drawing of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr. signing DREAM.American Sign Language Story Time

with Deaf Services Librarian Janice Rosen performing stories in ASL about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Primarily for 3-5 year olds but all ages welcome.   ASL/voice interpreter will be present.

Monday, January 12, 2015, 12:30-1:00 PM: Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue, NW  (202) 727-1488

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 10:30-11:00 AM: West End Interim Library, 2522 Virginia Avenue, NW   (202) 724-8707

Friday, January 16, 2015, 11:00-11:30 AM: MLK, Jr. Memorial Library, Children’s Room, Room 200, 901 G Street, NW   (202) 727-0321

Saturday, January 17, 2015, 11:00-11:30 AM: Southwest Library, 900 Wesley Place, SW   (202) 724-4752

Friday, January 23, 2015, 10:30-11:00 AM: Northeast Library, 330 – 7th Street, NE    (202) 698-0058
For more information, contact:

Note: This is not a Stories By Hand program.  “In the Community” items are shared on this site in the interest of getting the word out about great ASL programs in the area.

In the Community: ASL Classes for Adults at the Hearing and Speech Agency

Learn American Sign Language from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.



Registration deadline January 1.

ASL 1, 2, 3 & 4
Tuesday Evenings | 6pm – 8pm
Class $145 per student
Textbook $75

For more information, click here.

Note: This is not a Stories By Hand program. “In the Community” items are shared on this site in the interest of getting the word out about great ASL programs in the area.

Deaf Maryland Culture

Reposted with permission from FOLDA [Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action] E-NEWS October 23, 2014

Citizens for Maryland Libraries (CML) and Maryland Library Trustees (MLT) will have its annual meeting on Saturday, November 8, 2014, 9:30 am – 2:45 pm at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free library in Hagerstown, MD.

FOLDA, MD deaf community and libraries are grateful to Citizens for Maryland Libraries (CML) for its successful 2014 legislative session. It includes the requiring of the Division of Library Development Services (DLDS) of the MD State Dept of Education (MSDE) to establish a Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL). Maryland’s Governor signed it into the law on May 15, 2014.

We also applaud the MD legislation for authorizing MSDE to include operating funds for the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) in its budget and for LBPH to receive a specified amount of funding each year.

LBPH of MD, founded in 1968, has one sub-regional library, called the Disability Resource Center (DRC), formerly the Special Needs Library (SNL) opened January 6, 1986 in Montgomery County. In November 2006, SNL merged with the new Rockville Library and became the DRC.

Under the direction of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (NLS) and the DLDS, LBPH and DRC provide library services to all eligible blind and physically handicapped citizens, including deaf blind citizens and deaf citizens with disabilities and who are not able to use regular books, audio tapes and the related at the public library.

Please make sure that DEAF BLIND CULTURE and also other Deaf Cultures in MD are aware of LBPH services in MD.

Maryland Trivia for Fun and Facts

Mary Titcomb, Librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, MD, first introduced the bookmobile or mobile library in the United States, in Maryland in 1905.

Thirty-fifty years ago on December 6, 1977, the late Mervin D. Garretson made the first presentation about George W. Veditz at the Gaithersburg Public Library in MD. A copy of his presentation, The Veditz Genius, may be available from your local library. It has five illustrations of Veditz by the famed artist Ruth Peterson.

Alice L. Hagemeyer, President , Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action FOLDA E-Editor.