Resources for Learning American Sign Language

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

1001 Books in ASL: Favorite picture books with multiple translation options including word-for-word, full ASL, and visual gesture/mime. A valuable resource for ASL learners.

ASL Connect: Free introductory videos and interactive lessons from Gallaudet University. Fingerspelling tool to help you practice receptive fingerspelling.

ASL Nook: Featuring a family of native ASL users, each short ASL Nook video centers on a theme, from school signs to patriotic signs to animal signs, presenting language in context, showing the adults and children interacting.

ASLOnline: Maintained by the University of Texas at Austin, this free online tutorial features three levels focusing on vocabulary and sentence structure in American Sign Language.  Instruction takes places through videos and written text.  The organization of the units mirrors the critically acclaimed Signing Naturally curriculum, making this site an ideal supplement to in-person classes.

ASL Resources:  Recommendations from the National Association of the Deaf.

ASL Tales: The Princess and the Pea by Alicita Rodriguez and Joseph Starr and Pinky Aiello. Book and DVD, 2008.

ASL Tales: The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Susan Schaller and Connie Clanton and Dee Clanton. Book and DVD, 2013.

ASL Tales: Rapunzel by Judy Hood and Pinky Aiello. Book and DVD, 2008.

ASL Tales: The Tortoise and the Hare by Susan Reiners and Daniel Winship and Alisha Bronk . Book and DVD, 2013.

ASL University: Maintained by Dr. Bill Vicars, this site features clear, well-structured lessons with a mixture of print information, video, and photos.  It also includes lots of activities for practice and an online ASL dictionary, making this a great stop for someone looking for a casual resource or a serious student looking for structured lessons.

ASLTA Member Directory: The American Sign Language Teachera Association is is the only national-level professional organization for American Sign Language and Deaf Studies educators. Its member directory is a great place to start when looking for ASL teachers or tutors.

Deaf Teaching Hearing Series STARS Nashville (Students Taking A Right Stand): A series of video lessons created by Deaf and hard of hearing students.

The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language. Gallaudet University Press, 2014 (hardcover): With colorful illustrations and easy-to-use organization, this is a great first ASL dictionary.

The Gallaudet Children‘s Dictionary of American Sign Language Online: A browsable video version of the classic resource, featuring child and teen sign models.

Info to Go: ASL: Resources from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University

Learn & Master Sign Language (asynchronous video course available through Udemy/Gale Presents – click here to see if your library card allows you to create a free account) Instructors Dr. Byron Bridges, and Stacey Webb present 25 interactive lessons that include quizzes, vocabulary video index, fingerspelling practice at three different speeds, activities with the accompanying downloadable workbook, narrative practice, dialogue practice, and highlight and tips about Deaf culture.

Learn to Sign the Fun Way: Let Your Fingers Do the Talking with Games, Puzzles, and Activities in American Sign Language by Penny Warner. Prima, 2001.

Rocky Mountain Deaf School Toddler Program ASL Storytelling YouTube Channel: Stories for young children in American Sign Language.

My Smart Hands (Laura Berg Life) YouTube Channel: Child-friendly videos that teach basic ASL vocabulary.

Sign Language for Kids by Lora Heller. Sterling, 2004.

Sign with Robert (DVD and streaming, 10 volumes): 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.

Signing Savvy: This online video dictionary of signs is clear, accurate, and easy to use. Though the search function on the site is limited to subscribers, you can access as many signs as you want through the alphabetical index, or go to Google and search signing savvy + the term you are looking for.

Start ASL: This site offers three levels of free online ASL courses, as well as a fingerspelling course.  Students download a free workbook in .pdf form and use it to work through the video activities in each unit.  The free courses are quite robust, but the site also offers a more in-depth paid class option for those who want to access the courses free of advertisements, with the option to submit assignments for feedback and access additional material.