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My daughter is friendly with a deaf girl who has mainstreamed the
last few years. Although her friend will be going to a special
school for the deaf, my daughter has become very interested in sign
language and wants to be able to communicate effectively with her
friend. A vacation school would be great. We live in San Leandro,
so the classes must be relatively close.
all about signing
I wonder if volunteering to work with the preschoolers at CEID
(Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf) in Berkeley might be a
fun way to get acquainted with sign language (although they use SEE -
sign exact English - instead of ASL).
Mother of hearing impaired child
my 4 year old picks up sign language well and is very interested
to learn more. Is there anywhere in the Berkeley area that has
classes for kids his age to learn real ASL?
please email me if you have any tips. thanks!
If you are interested in having your child learn American Sign Language, then I would recommend
taking a class that uses ASL (like Signing Smart) rather than a class that teaches gestures and
invented signs, which are used in the BabySigns program.
ASL signing parent
There was misinformation presented here (June 12) about the Baby SignsŪ
Program which we would like to clarify: The Baby SignsŪ Program does, in
fact, use American Sign Language (ASL). The program also encourages
parents to acknowledge and celebrate approximated signs and ''home'' signs
their child may produce.
The Baby SignsŪ program is the original sign language program for hearing
babies based on the breakthrough NIH-funded research of Drs. Linda
Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn. Every other baby sign language program in
existence today cites this research. Interestingly, this research was
done on babies who were not using ASL signs, but rather ''home'' signs,
and there has been no research done since then to show any advantage to
using ASL signs exclusively.
The primary goal of the Baby SignsŪ program is to enhance communication
and bonding between parents and children. Should a family be interested
in American Sign Language as a second language, we encourage social
contact with native ASL users and taking ASL courses taught in the foreign
language department at many high schools and colleges.
We are three certified Baby SignsŪ instructors in the East Bay who use ASL
in our classes and at home with our children. We welcome any questions
from parents about signing with your babies.
Baby SignsŪ Independent Certified Instructor Baby SignsŪ of the Bay Area
My daughter Diane, 19, will be coming from France to Berkeley mid
July with her father. She wishes to learn the American sign
language during her stay. she studies linguistics in order to
become a speech therapist. Do you have any idea about who she can
Thank you for your help !
Try Berkeley City College in downtown Berkeley. It is the college formerly know as Vista. I've heard
that they have a great ASL program. Hopefully someone who has direct experience with the program will
Non ASL Anon
While I don't know if classes will be available for the exact time that you need, I know that Berkeley
City College has an ASL department and degree program and West Contra Costa Adult Ed
(http://www.wccae.info/) also offers sign language classes, although those are not exactly ASL.
The small private highschool my son attends has a limited
foreign language program. I have asked about introducing
American Sign Language (ASL) as an alternative for
students struggling with the standard offerings of Spanish
& French. Can anyone suggest an instructor, as well as the
procedure necessary to get this class accredited as part
of the school curriculum? (ASL meets the UC foreign
language requirement). Or, does anyone know of a good
ASL Summer program or private instructor in the Eastbay?
Vista Community College (now Berkeley City College) has a terrific ASL
program, so you might look into whether or not your child could take
ASL there and earn his or her high school foreign language credit. It's
definitely worth looking into. One terrific advantage to taking ASL at
the community college is that the folks there generally really WANT to be
there, and so are much more motivated to learn, not just sitting
through class to get through it. I also found that a each class developed a
real sense of community and camaraderie--not a bad thing for a high school
student to experience, either!
Contra Costa College also has an ASL course and I know El
Cerrito High students who have taken classes there and it
went toward their foreign language requirement and was
also accepted by the UC system (and meant that the student
not only got HS credit but also earned college credit at
the same time). soem of the students then were able to
volunteer at the nearby grammar school that has a hearing
impaired program (Harding).
Does anyone know of any place or person that offers ASL to
children ages 2-5 in the Eastbay? Thanks
Stacey Raye teaches sign language to pre-school aged and older
children. My daughter took classes from her when she was younger
and loved it. She is also the owner of Monkey Business Camp.
Contact her at: email@example.com
I was able to find a deaf student from Ohlone College in Fremont
to tutor me and my two kids (aged 1 and 3) in ASL. I would
contact Vista College in Berkeley and Ohlone College and put a
posting on their bulletin boards saying what you are interested
in and when, if you have any ASL knowledge, are hearing or deaf
and any other relevant info. We are delighted with the young
woman we found, and having a deaf ASL teacher really forces you
to learn faster in my opinion. Also, if you are interested in a
playdate email me, maybe we can practice signing with each other
and the kids. We are in Montclair.
Does anyone know a great sign-language interpreter who'd like to
sign for about 10-15 minutes on August 18 and September 9 (San
Francisco/Berkeley) at a bookstore as I read from a new novel? I
would do everything I could to help publicize the interpreter's
work. (Am also looking for interpreters in Beverly Hills, New
York, Portland, but am based here).
Here are three options that I found while looking for the first. I have a friend who
works for Deaf Services of Palo Alto and it seems to be a nice, well-run
Deaf Services of Palo Alto
P.O. Box 60651, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Voice: (650) 856-9262
Fax: (650) 856-1114
Contact: Janet Nystrom
Bay Area Communication Access (BACA)
870 Market Street, Suite 330, San Francisco, CA 94102
Voice: (415) 356-0405
Fax: (415) 356-0495
American Sign Language and tactile interpreting available.
Hands On Services
P.O. Box 418, Auburn, CA 95604-0418
Voice: (800) 900-9478
Fax: (800) 900-9477
My husband and I and our children (ages 6 and 10) would like to
learn ASL. I was taking an adult ed class and trying to bring it
home to the family, but that was difficult. I would like to have
someone come to our home to instruct us. I have contacted Vista
College, but the person recommended is not available. I suppose
we could watch an instructional video, but am worried that we
will not be disciplined enough to advance in the language. Thanks
for any thoughts on how we can successfully learn the basics of ASL.
I highly recommend the ''Signing Time'' videos. They are fun, and have lots of songs
some of which are quite challenging (try the ''silly pizza song'') The Berkeley Public
Library has one of the videos, which is how we stumbled upon them. Since then we
bought all 6 of the DVDs and watch them again and again. They are geared towards
younger children (zero to 6) but there's lots for all ages. See the songs that are signed
in the credits and Rachel Coleman's introduction which is spoken and signed to see
how the language is put together. http://signingtime.com/img/AboutST.mov Also see
Michigan State University's ASL site http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/
browser.htm for quicktime videos for vocabulary building. Have Fun!
I'm looking to teach my daughter sign language.
Does anyone know of a ASL class for three year olds?
Thanks in advance.
I did not see any follow-up posts to your query about ASL
classes for a three-year old, so I wanted to offer my two
cents. As far as I know, there are no ASL classes for hearing
children in this area. It wasn't clear to me from your post
whether or not you know ASL yourself, but of course one way to
teach your child ASL is to take a class or two yourself. Vista
College in Berkeley has an amazing ASL program, with many
classes both day and evening. Another thought is for you to
take your child to one of the many Deaf events happening in
this area. My impression is that most of the things for kids
are in Fremont, where the school for the Deaf is located. They
often have plays, storytelling events, etc. you could bring
your child to. I think Barnes and Noble in Fremont still has
ASL storytime as well- I don't know the days and times, but I'm
sure you could find out. There is a website called
traingosorry.com that lists many events in the area.
I'd be happy to offer you more resources- please feel free to
email me. I'd also be interested to learn more about your
situation, and might be able to offer better advice if I know
why you are interested (for example, I believe an agency called
DCARA offers ASL for family members of Deaf people.) I wish I
could enroll my 2 year old in a class- I sign some, but I'd
love it if she could learn in a class.
There was a posting for a baby sign class in the most
recent announcements, Saturdays in Emeryville, I think. It
may not be an ASL class, as I believe the book they are
basing the class uses some kind of pidgin sign. The
Oakland museum often has a kids day for deaf and hearing
families. Deaf Media is an excellent resource for finding out
abt events in the East Bay.
hope that helps
I'm trying to find a sign language teacher to instruct hearing elementary
school students in an after school enrichment class. Any suggestions for
teachers, or for organizations that might have some leads?
Kirk Long teaches at the Piedmont Adult School. He is
EXCELLENT! Very enthusiastic, stays with the level of his
audience, makes sure to check-in once in a while to ensure the
students are picking up the language. He also makes learning a
lot of fun (a huge requirement for young students). I'm sure
you could get his contact info. from the school.
Former S.L. student
I would suggest contacting the ASL program at Vista College.
They have many great teachers there who might be willing to
teach another class. If not, they could probably offer you
I'm probably not the only person who'll suggest this, but try
contacting Vista Community College in downtown Berkeley. They have
a terrific American Sign Language depertment, and would, I'm sure,
love to help you out. The department's phone number is 981-2872.
In your search, remember that American Sign Language is not the
same as SEE, or Signed Exact English, which is what some people
use. The majority of the American Deaf community uses ASL; SEE
seems to be used primarily by hearing families with a deaf child.
Just a note so that you get what you want.
I believe the Albany Parks and Recreation Dept. offers sign language classes
from time to time at the Albany Community Center (1249 Marin). Unfortunately,
as I remember, the classes may only be offered weekday afternoons, which may
not work for you. But you may want to give them a call: 524-9283.
From: ann smith
I have much to share on this subject. I have been trained as an
interpretr and have worked for the California School for the Deaf,
Fremont. I am currently working with a few others in the field to
develop a non-profit organization to provide resource/ referral
services to hearing parents of deaf children (over 90% of deaf
children are born to hearing parents). I also provide private tutor
lessons and am interested in coordinating a group for this purpose.
Feel free to give me a call at home 510/741-5513.
Vista College (Milva and Addison) has nationally recognized sign language
certificate and interpreter training programs. You might call the program
administrator to see if one of the advanced students, or even one of the
teachers, would be interested in working with your daughter or her
pre-school. When I took sign there several years ago, one of the final
exams was to sign a kids story. This might be something fun for the kids
at the pre-school to practice. I recall one student signed a rather
memorable version of "Are You My Mama?" Another thought is to try the
Disabled Students program on campus (642-0518). Maybe a hearing-impaired
college student would be interested in some occasional babysitting!
Does anyone have experience with a teen taking ASL (American Sign
Language) courses as their foreign language in high school? I have heard
that this is possible, and would like to know how it works for kids at
My son is a Freshman now. I have found the web listing for the program
at Vista, but it looks like the day classes in the Fall are long (9:30
to 12:30), which would not fit into a BHS schedule. Evenings are a
possibility, but that would make for a very long day.
Any information about ASL programs or how this has worked for teens you
know will be very appreciated.
When my daughter was a sophomore at BHS she began taking ASL classes at
Vista. Over the next three years she took five classes. She enjoyed them very
much (she was unhappy with one of the teachers, the others ranged from
terrific to ok). She not only learned a second language but also got a
glimpse into the culture of the deaf. (All of her teachers were deaf.) Some
of her Vista classes were held on Cal's campus which she also enjoyed. Most
of the classes had to be taken at night. It did pose a problem and made for a
long day, but she/we found a way to manage it. There were a couple of high
school students in each of the classes - some from Berkeley High School, one
from Lick Wilmerding. Most, but not all, of the other high school students
had some LD issue that brought them to ASL. Part of the time, I was able to
work out a carpool system. The majority of the other students were adults
either wanting to learn ASL for work or because a family member was deaf. On
one occasion a whole family including the deaf child took the class. That
class was a particularly rich educational experience. My daughter will be
attending UC San Diego in the fall. UCSD offers ASL and accepts Vista
credits. Consequently, after one more ASL class at UCSD my daughter will
probably be able to test out of the language requirement. Her experiences
with ASL will remain an important part of who she is. Please feel free to
call me if you have further questions. I'm sure my daughter would be willing
to talk to your son.
My HS junior daughter has taken ASL (after hating French) at Vista
starting in 10th grade. It's pretty simple to enroll: your child
needs a form for concurrent enrollment (available from the
counselors), which is filled out by the student and signed by a
parent, the HS principal and counselor and taken to Vista. They then
get HS credit. The only feasible way to do this is evening classes;
the daytime schedule just doesn't fit in with HS. It does mean that
on those days they have to budget their time VERY carefully--there's
not a whole lot of time for other homework (or dinner) when they have
a 6:30-9:30 pm class. It's a great progam and there are usually a #
of other HS kids in these classes. The program is fabulous. If you
want more info on the program, contact the ASLdept at Vista. I'd be
glad to answer any other ?s you might have about the mechanics of
having a HS student in the program.
Does Vista have a summer program as well as a school year program? He
could start this summer and follow up with some videos until he can take
The Captioned Media Program sponsored by National Association of the Deaf
has a program where one can get free videos for their homes or classrooms.
All they request is that you fill out an evaluation upon returning the
video. They mail the videos and include free return label for you. There
are all kinds of video tapes about signing.
They really have an excellent video collection. It is an excellent
resource and they are trying hard to get the word out.
e-mail info AT cfv.org
Teachers with hearing impaired students -- this resource is AMAZING.
Flora Russ --
Berkeley High School
My son has taken ASL through VISTA in the everning for two semesters.
He has enjoyed it quite a bit. Betty Ann is a wonderful teacher who
usually teaches the first semester class (I even sat in on her class
when I could!). He has one teacher who was not great and withdrew from
that class. His last teacher (Dudis was quite good). The second
semester is quite a bit more difficult than the first (it gets much more
serious). There are also classes in fingerspelling and classifiers.
The one forewarning is that BHS has not counted the one college semester
as two high school semesters but has given him 7 units (instead of 10)
for each semester so to fufill some college prerequisites, he will have
to take a least one more course. This was also another friends
experience and appears to be nonnegotiable with BHS. Make sure your
student checks off that he is taking the course for high school credit
on the VISTA paperwork (rather than college credit).
I would like to respond to the person asking about American Sign
Language. I am an interpreter and a parent of a deaf teen. I know that
many colleges and universities now accept ASL for a language
requirement. Vista has some summer programs and used to offer classes
during the school year just for high schoolers. I have also taught ASL
in the Berkeley schools, and would be interested in private, or small
class lessons. Thanks.
this page was last updated: Feb 14, 2010
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