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South Hadley Recreation Department

South Hadley Recreation Department

American Sign Language For Beginners

Course Information:

Who: Ages 14 and up
Dates: Wednesday's May 5th-May 26th
Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Zoom
Cost: $10 per participant

The course will include ½ hour of signing and ½ hour of practicing.  Each person will partner with someone within their household or via Zoom another participant.

(30 to 45 minutes of instruction with 15 to 30 minutes of practice and visual/vocal assistance from instructor on technique. )

About the Instructor

Desirée Smelcer, Adult Services Librarian at the South Hadley Public Library, is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and is fluent in American Sign Language. Her mother, Danielle, was deaf and was very involved in the Northern California Deaf community. Desirée was her mother’s interpreter outside of the home for 17 years – until she went away to college in Massachusetts.  She has taught ASL classes since she was in her teens with her mother which is over 25 years of experience. 

Course Content

The Basics ASL Course will include:
  • ASL Handouts for each class
  • Website to practice
  • Fingerspelling and proper finger placement
  • Signing sentence structure
Week 1
  • Fingerspelling the ABC's and Numbers
  • A bit about the culture and how to get someone's attention
  • Facial expression and body language
  • Homework: How to fingerspell your name
Week 2:
  • Fingerspelling ABC's intro
  • How to introduce yourself. Fingerspell name, and why a hearing person cannot give another hearing person a name sign
  • Learning emotions and colors
  • Homework: How to introduce yourself and respond
Week 3:
  • Fingerspelling ABC's intro
  • Customer service questions in ASL for work/shopping/school/medical
  • Homework: Working on hand placement technique
Week 4:
  • ASL Bingo
  • Will include ABC's, numbers and colors
The instructions part of the programs will be recorded on Zoom and be available free on Vimeo and YouTube for future reference for practice and review.

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South Hadley Recreation Department
116 Main Street 
South Hadley, Massachusetts 01075

Phone: 413-538-5030
Email: [email protected]

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