American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information.
Sign language is not a universal language -- each country has its own sign language, and regions have dialects, much like the many languages spoken all over the world. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. Like all languages, ASL is a living language that grows and changes over time.
ASL is used predominantly in the United States and in many parts of Canada. ASL is accepted by many high schools, colleges, and universities in fulfillment of modern and "foreign" language academic degree requirements across the United States.
Many sign language classes are offered throughout the state. While it is not possible to keep records of all locations, we recommend that you check with places like:
- Community Colleges/Universities
- Adult Education/Continuing Education Programs
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Recreation and Community Centers (YMCA, YWCA)
- Religious Affiliated Organizations
- West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind
- Interpreting Agencies
- Deafness-Related Organizations/Groups
- State Offices
If WVCDHH receives information that there are ASL classes offered, the information will be posted on the website and/or our Facebook page. Please let us know about any ASL classes.
Below are links for interactive resources for language enthusiasts, ASL students and learners, instructors and teachers, sign language interpreters, homeschoolers, parents, and professionals who are interested in learning sign language online and/or beyond classes for practice.