Resources for Educators and Librarians

The following resources are ones that I personally recommend and are not a comprehensive list of available resources on this topic.

The resources on this page focus on general professional development related to ASL and working with Deaf students and patrons. For resources on signing with children or creating access, see the links at the bottom of the page.

“American Sign Language: A New Strategy to Integrate into Your Current Teaching Practices” by Jenning Prevatte. Exchange, July/August 2007, pp 45-49.

“An Alternative Approach to Early Literacy: The Effects of ASL in Educational Media on Literacy Skills Acquisition for Hearing Children” by A.M. Moses, D.B. Golos, and C.M. Bennett. Early Childhood Education Journal (2015) 43: 485.

ASL L1 Language Acquisition: A collection of posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education.

ASL for Library Staff, Levels 1 and 2: 6-week asynchronous eCourses from the American Library Association, taught by Kathy MacMillan.

Best Practices for Wearing Masks When Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: A guide in ASL and English from the National Association of the Deaf

Collection recommendations: from the Library Service to People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum

Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children’s Literacy by Marilyn Daniels. Bergin and Garvey, 2001: A summary of the author’s research on the benefits of signing with hearing children.

Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries: Deaf History Month Free Symposium (On Demand Webinar Recording): This event, recording April 21, 2022, features presentations on Deaf history, community, and culture, and a discussion of best practices for services to the Deaf community. Features Rosa Rodriguez, Alice L. Hagemeyer, Joan Naturale, Danica Alexander, and Marti Goddard. Hosted by San José State University School of Information.

Deaf Cultural Resource Center: A subsidiary of Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA), which was founded in 1986 by Alice L. Hagemeyer, the first Librarian to the Deaf Community at D.C. Public Library, this site has lots of information for libraries, including events, historical information, programming ideas, and more.

Deaf Culture PEPNet Tipsheet: Created as part of a grant from the US Department of Education, this tipsheet is available in PDF form and makes a handy guide and handout. Written 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.

Deaf Culture Resource Center (Libraries for Deaf Action): A starting place for libraries to help them serve the Deaf community.

Described and Captioned Media Program: Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf, the DCMP provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. Services include a library of free-loan described and captioned educational media available to students who are deaf, blind, hard of hearing, visually impaired, or deaf-blind and the educators who serve them, a free online learning center of information related to education, accessibility, deafness, blindness, and other related topics, and a free gateway that allows users to selectively search across DCMP’s entire clearinghouse of accessibility-related articles.

“Discussion Guide: History, Perception, and Community in the Middle Grade Novels of Ann Clare LeZotte” by Kathy MacMillan. Scholastic, 2021.

8 Tips for Making Storytimes Accessible by Kathy MacMillan: Simple ways to make your storytimes more inclusive for children of differing needs and abilities.

English By Eye (A Project of ASL Access): English by Eye videos combine reading with sign language, video clips, and photos to improve reading comprehension for ASL users through increased exposure to English vocabulary, everyday language experiences, understanding multiple-meaning words, grasping idioms and idiomatic language, and having fun with language.

Gallaudet University Archives and Deaf Collections: An extensive digitized collection of books, videos, periodicals, and more.

Guidelines for Effective Communication with Deaf, Late-Deafened, and Hard of Hearing People: This guide from the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers concrete tips for improving communication before, during, and after interactions.

Hands and Voices: A non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Hands-On Collection Building: A librarian offers tips for sign language materials selection” by Kathy MacMillan. School Library Journal, March 2003.

Inclusive library services for deaf people: an overview from the social model perspective by Sarah Playforth, Health Information & Libraries Journal, Volume 21, Issue Supplement s2, Version of Record online: 11 Aug 2004: An overview of ways to improve library service to deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons.

“Keep ‘Em Reading: Deaf History Month and ASL” by Kathy MacMillan. Library Sparks web resource, May 2006: Recommended resources for teachers and librarians, along with games and activities suitable for the classroom or programs.

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: The premiere source of information about deafness online, with fact sheets, teacher guides, information about assistive devices, and more.

LEADK (Language Equality and Access for Deaf Kids): The LEAD-K Campaign is a direct response to the alarming number of Deaf and hard of hearing children arriving at school without language. The Campaign aims to end language deprivation through information to families about language milestones and assessments that measure language milestone achievements, and data collection that holds our current education system accountable.

Library Signs Resources from Kathy MacMillan: A collection of “bite-sized” videos and printable handouts suitable for sharing in staff meetings or for individual learning, all featuring basic ASL vocabulary useful for library staff.

Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library: State-funded resource center providing online resources on Deaf culture, a comprehensive electronic collection of Deaf resources, Deaf cultural programs, and training programs for library staff.

Minerva Deaf Research Lab Educator’s Toolkit: A collection of online training tutorials, tip sheets, research briefs and quick links to other resources that provide information and helpful suggestions for creating positive learning environments for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH). ASL Tools @Your Fingertips: A project of the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, this is a suite of 9 web-based assistive technology tools that enable users to create and archive ASL-supported educational materials and quizzes, support text with sign graphics and video in real time, build and share creations with other myASL Tech Community members, and play games that reinforce ASL and English literacy. 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month memberships are available for individuals, small groups (3-19 people), and large groups (20+ people). 6-month and 12-month kid memberships are also available for pre-college students.

Read Captions Across America: A project of the Described and Captioned Media Program, Read Captions Across America is held in conjunction with the National Education Association’s Read Across America event every year on or around March 2. 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.

“Read the Signs: Middle Grade Fiction Centering the Deaf Experience” by Ann Clare LeZotte. School Library Journal, January 8, 2020.: An overview of recent recommended middle grade novels featuring deaf and hard-of-hearing characters, by a Deaf author.

Services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind (Vermont DAIL): A roundup of resources on accommodations, advocacy, and more.

Sign Language Interpreters in the Classroom (National Deaf Center): A resource guide for teachers and institutions.

Sign Language Interpreters in Your Library: What You Need to Know: an article by Kathy MacMillan on Storytime Stuff

Signing with Children in Storytime or the Classroom: A 6-week asynchronous eCourse from the American Library Association, taught by Kathy MacMillan.

Special Needs Communication Guide: A handy printable resource you can keep at service desks to assist in communicating with patrons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, speak Spanish, or have limited communication skills. This 21-page communication guide was put together by The Library of Fanwood and Scotch Plains (New Jersey, USA), and contains English, Spanish, and fingerspelled words, as well as pictures for common concepts and items in the library setting.

Teaching Tips When Working with Students Who Use ASL and the Role of an ASL-English Interpreter by Susan Frampton, NIC: A helpful guide for teachers.

Working with an Interpreter in The Classroom (ASL Stew) (7:30): This video gives tips for working with an interpreter to make communication happen in your classroom.

See also:

Resources for Creating Access

Resources for Signing in Storytime or the Classroom

Resources for Finding and Working with Interpreters