Teacher/Librarian Guide for NITA’S FIRST SIGNS now available!

I’m so excited to share with you this printable guide to using Nita’s First Signs in the classroom or storytime! Check it out for tips and tricks for sharing signs during the story, and following up with other fun ASL activities.  Click here or on the picture below to download and print your own copy.

Check out the Nita’s First Signs homepage for a video demonstration of the signs in the story and even more links to ASL storytime and classroom activities to share!

Hands Up for Back to School!

If you’re looking for resources to share American Sign Language with your students or storytime attendees, check out the Little Hands Signing Storytime & Craft Ideas board on Pinterest! It’s where I pin my favorite ideas from around the internet for sharing ASL with kids, and gather links to my own videos showcasing signing rhymes and songs.  Check it out!

New Session of Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff eCourse Open for Registration!

Basic ASL for Library StaffInstructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning November 5, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks of lessons (no new lessons the week of Thanksgiving, and participants will have a total of 13 weeks to complete course materials)

$195.00 (Discounts available for ALA members and bulk registrations)

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Comments from previous students of this course:

“Thank you for teaching me much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful experience that I will certainly share with everyone who will listen!”

“This course has been invaluable to me…I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and truly appreciate someone’s genius in offering it.  The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“I absolutely loved the class and would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE — librarian or not!”

“This class was interesting, informative and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

Register now!

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS is available now!

“Nita’s First Signs demonstrates the value and fun of learning sign language for ALL infants, toddlers children AND adults, regardless of whether they are Deaf or hearing or hard of hearing.” – Marlee Matlin

Published by Familius Press!

  • Text by Kathy MacMillan
  • Illustrations by Sara Brezzi
  • ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

American Sign Language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference.

Makes a great baby shower gift!

Order now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org or ask for it at your local library!

 

Register now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 7, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

$250.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.

Review: DEAF MINISTRY by Leo Yates, Jr.

Deaf Ministry: Ministry Models for Expanding the Kingdom of GodDeaf Ministry: Ministry Models for Expanding the Kingdom of God by Leo Yates Jr

This book is geared to those involved in Christian ministry who wish to create or expand ministry to Deaf people within their churches. Yates begins with an overview of deafness and Deaf Culture, with a particular emphasis on how both may impact a Deaf individual’s experiences of church. He then explores various models of Deaf ministry, ranging from the Deaf Church, where the dominant language is American Sign and the liturgy may be adapted for Deaf congregations, to Interpreted Ministry, where access is provided to hearing church services and certain activities via an ASL interpreter, to Hard-of-Hearing and Late-Deafened Ministry, which focuses on access for those who do not use ASL to communicate. Yates also offers information on Deaf-blind Ministry, Deaf Advocacy, Deaf Missions, and Disability Ministry (which may or may not include the Deaf community), as well as an excellent chapter discussing the idea of the Multicultural Church, which strives to integrate the needs of Hearing, Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Late-deafened, and Deaf-blind individuals, and brings both hearing and Deaf culture values into its services.
Yates gives an excellent overview of the different ways that Deaf individuals may be integrated into a church community, with lots of specific resources relating to provision of interpreters, accommodations checklists, and case studies showing how other churches have done it. This is a must-have resource for anyone looking to start a Christian Deaf ministry.

 

Free Webinar this Friday: Accessibility and Libraries

I’m so excited to be participating in this FREE webinar with American Libraries Live!  Hope you can join us!

Free Webinar: Accessibility and Libraries

Friday, September 29, 2017
1 p.m. Eastern | 12 p.m. Central
11 a.m. Mountain | 10 a.m. Pacific

Register now

Technology highly influences accessibility—many patrons use assistive technology, such as screen readers, literacy software, and speech input, to access and use library materials and e-resources. This free episode of AL Live explores the rapid growth and development of assistive technology and will help you stay informed and equipped with the best practices to assist your users and tips to ensure your materials are accessible to everyone.
Because planning considerations range from policies and organizational culture to facilities, technologies, and beyond, librarians need to address these issues in a way that is both stable and flexible.

Join us Friday, September 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern as our expert panel discusses the current state of accessibility, the issues many libraries face today, and what we may see in the near future.

Featured panelists for this webinar are: 

  • Jennifer Moore, associate professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University
  • Clayton Copeland, faculty and director, Laboratory for Leadership in Equity & Diversity (LLEAD), School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina
  • Kathy MacMillan, writer, American Sign Language interpreter, consultant, librarian, and signing storyteller

Don’t miss out! Register today.

Library Signs Resources

Want to learn some simple signs you can use to make serving Deaf patrons more successful?  Check out these resources!

Practice Videos by Kathy MacMillan on YouTube
Manners Signs
Library Signs 1
Library Signs 2
Library Signs 3

Library Signs Quiz Video

Library Signs Quiz Video Answer Sheet


Handouts to go with Practice Videos:
Library Signs (Vocabulary – Video 2)

Library Signs (Sentences – Videos 1 and 3)

 

Interested in more in-depth instruction on this topic? Check out my professional development eCourses from the American Library Association.

Order Your Free Kit for Read Captions Across America Day

So you probably knew that March 2 was Read Across America Day – but did you also know that it is Read Captions Across America Day?

500x120-allwhite-black

Lead by the Described and Captioned Media Program, Read Captions Across America (RCAA) is held in conjunction with the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America event every year on or around March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

The purpose of Read Captions Across America is to raise awareness—particularly among children and their parents and teachers—that video-based media can be just as effective at encouraging and fostering reading skills as books, as long as captions are always turned on!

Order a FREE toolkit, including posters, bookmarks, and certificates here.

Additionally, DCMP members are eligible to receive a free Dr. Seuss DVD as part of this campaign. Find out if you are eligible for a free membership here.

Recommended DVD Series: Sign with Robert

I have been writing reviews of ASL materials for School Library Journal for several years now.  Whenever I get a new one, I tense a little with worry – there are some frankly awful sign language DVDs out there.

That’s why it’s such a thrill when I get to review a series that I can review as enthusiastically as this one.  Sign with Robert is well-planned-out, well-executed, and always mindful of the needs of its audience.

10-dvd-set-mmjkjn6ya0tjntjnec4wrqzdqgqz6ozstycdzcadjc

Here’s some of what I had to say in my review:

“This excellent series goes far beyond the usual introductions to American Sign Language (ASL) to create value for multiple audiences. Deaf actor and educator Robert DeMayo brings his native ASL fluency to the demonstrations of signs and discussion of culture, and the series features a clean visual style that keeps the focus on the language. The vocabulary segments go into far greater depth than most ASL materials, making the series valuable to advanced signers and interpreters as well as beginners.”

Sign with Robert is available as a 10-volume series, or by individual discs or streaming episodes.  Voiceovers and open captions are used where necessary to make sure everyone has access.