Every year students at Madonna University's Sign Language Studies program create ASL music videos of popular songs
, incorporating elements of ASL poetry and storytelling. Each video comes with a comprehensive guide explaining the translations and artistic choices behind each line of the video. Some examples: Pompeii by Bastille
, Four Women by Nina Simone
, and of course Bohemian Rhapsody
When Carolyn McCaskill was 15 years old, she and nine other deaf black students were enrolled in an integrated school for the deaf in Talledega, Alabama. McCaskill had learned American Sign Language at home with her two deaf siblings and at the nearby Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind.
"When the teacher got up to address the class, McCaskill was lost."
The American Sign Language used by the teacher and white students at her new school looked different than the American Sign Language that McCaskill had learned at home and at her previous school. Today, McCaskill is one of the leading authorities on Black ASL, which has distinctive features as a result of a history of segregated schools for the deaf and the influence of spoken black English. She is a professor at Gallaudet University, the co-director of the Black ASL Project
, and a co-author of "The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL."
is a miniature ceramic village sculpted and photographed by Steven Travis, who also invented a language and script called Tapissary
, inspired by American Sign Language, which appears on the images.
American Sign Language Flash Video Dictionary
is a high quality, free dictionary with a huge number of signs. It includes specialized dictionaries of religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies. Unfortunately it's not possible to link to specific signs, but if you look inside you'll find words from "Abbreviate" to "Zoom" and phrases such as "I cannot fasten my belt," "has he been neutered?" "I already took a bath," "are you married?" and "I need a better firewall."