Areas of Study


ASL Connect aims to equip individuals to be lifelong learners through an equity-centered, immersive virtual learning environment from Deaf professionals with multicultural backgrounds, to transform the world for greater human CONNECTions.

ASL Connect welcomes people from diverse communities to CONNECT to the richness of American Sign Language and Deaf culture with the aspiration that they will be agents of change for equality and respect for the Deaf community.

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ASL Online Courses
We offer for-credit, online ASL courses as well as in-person Summer courses. Both introductory and advanced courses are available. Check out all of the engaging and interactive features we offer when you sign up for one of our courses.
Summer Residency Program
The ASL Summer Residency Program offers immersive ASL learning opportunities at Gallaudet University. Accredited ASL courses offered in two-week sessions throughout the summer.

Meet the Team



Keith Grant

American Sign Language Education Coordinator

Jerri Seremeth

Interim Families Coordinator

Candace Jones

Director, Heritage Sign Languages Center

Claire Decker

Family Connector

Glenna Cooper

ASL Online Facilitator

Marvella Sellers

Family Connector

Elena Thomas

Family Content Production Coordinator

Marissa Polvere

Content Producer

LiAn Jackson

Operations Specialist

Joseph Lopez

Family Connector

Kristy McKeller

Family Connector

Latrina Lewis

Family Connector

Arlene Ngalle

Coordinator Assistant and Digital Marketing Specialist

Mercedes Olson

Enrollment Concierge

Deana Meade

Family Connector

Leeann Tang

Family Connector

Jaclyn Vincent

Lesson Quality Reviewer


Common Questions
Just as there is no universal spoken language, there is also no universal sign language. American Sign Language, for example, is completely distinct from British Sign Language, but bears more resemblance to French Sign Language, based on the history of the emergence of ASL. (More on this is included in our online course, Introduction to Deaf Studies). While there is no universal sign language, deaf individuals have created an International Sign code to facilitate communication in international conferences and cultural gatherings.
With the rise of Deaf Studies in the 1970s, the usage the capitalization of (D)eaf became commonly used in order to distinguish between those who identify as belonging to a cultural and linguistic minority, in contrast to “(d)eaf”, which refers to an audiological condition. Some authors have opted to use the combined “d/Deaf” as a more inclusive term. There is an ongoing dialogue within Deaf Studies about the merits and complexities of using (d)eaf and (D)eaf, while remaining inclusive.” Students taking Introduction to Deaf Studies and Deaf Culture classes will engage in further discussion of the complex issues involved.
While there are no exact statistics, research shows that about 1 out of every 300 people in the United States are “functionally deaf.” Though more than half became deaf later in life; fewer than 1 out of every 1,000 people in the United States became deaf before 18 years of age. (National Institute of Health, 2005)
While ASL Connect is housed in Gallaudet University’s Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, it has been developed in collaboration with various deaf contractors and businesses, including:
ASL stands for American Sign Language. This is the most commonly used sign language among the Deaf community in the United States as well as parts of Canada. Because sign languages are not invented languages, nor are they the signed counterparts of the spoken languages of their region, the grammatical structure of sign languages is clearly distinct from spoken languages. While spoken languages are made up of a combination of sounds (phonemes), sign languages are made of a combination of handshapes, palm orientations, locations, movements, and non-manual markers, such as facial expressions. Students who enroll in our ASL courses online will learn more about the grammatical features of ASL.
Academia Questions
ASL Connect is intended to be a central resource for learning ASL and about Deaf Studies online, with all content created by Deaf ASL-fluent scholars. We offer ways to learn some basic ASL online to get you started, and then we offer highly engaging and interactive ASL and Deaf Studies courses online.
Students must refer to their academic institution for authorizing credit transfers. While these courses are offered as a part of Gallaudet University’s Center for Continuing and Online Education unit, academic credits may be transferred to other colleges and universities.
ASL is now the third most taught language in higher education according to the Modern Language Association (2013). Community colleges and four year colleges and universities throughout the nation do accept ASL as foreign language credit. Students are encouraged to check their school’s catalog to see if their university accepts ASL as foreign language credit. The online and onsite courses offered by ASL Connect are frequently transferred to satisfy students’ foreign language requirement.
Opportunities Questions
ASL Connect: Business can help businesses practice inclusion for Deaf clients, employees and collaborators by providing training on how to bridge cultural perspectives, how to procure accessible technologies and qualified ASL interpreters. Currently, our service area is in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. We plan to expand beyond this area to support the great need for ASL inclusion among enterprises.
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ASL Connect

ASL Connect

(202) 730-2792

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