Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

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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Programs

Summer Residency Program
Our Summer Residency Program offers a place where participants from all over the nation and the world share a common goal of wanting to accelerate their learning of American Sign Language (ASL). This academic program happens at Gallaudet University campus in person, the only university...
ASL Online Courses
Take your first steps into picking up one of America's most popular languages to learn: American Sign Langauge (ASL). If you are new to ASL, begin with the fundamentals and progress to our advanced courses to express authentic and meaningful conversations in ASL with people...

Meet the Team

Marika Kovacs-Houlihan

Director, ASL Connect

Keith Grant

ASL Education Coordinator

Support

FAQs

Services and Support
Connect with us at Contact here, and you can leave the rest in our hands!
An inclusive workplace communications environment maximizes opportunities to communicate with each other, regardless of language differences or communication styles. People often find it easier to communicate and are ready to engage when barriers are minimized. This openness to engage helps organizations and individuals to thrive, and yields dividends to themselves, organizations and society.
The Intercultural Communications (ICC) seminar offers communication strategies and tools for participants, as well as information about Deaf Culture, and basic American Sign Language (ASL) signs. This seminar dovetails into our ASL workshops. Our ASL Workshops offer participants with opportunities to learn how to communicate at or outside of the employment site in conversational ASL. Our customized ASL workshops are tailored to your industry’s needs with varying skill levels, topic content and training lengths.
Our teachers are Deaf, and highly trained with advanced credentials and extensive experience in American Sign Language (ASL) instruction. Voice interpreters will be provided for the Intercultural Communications. However, the ASL workshops will be taught exclusively in American Sign Language. In fact, research indicates immersive approaches in language education provide the most success in acquiring a new language!
There is no limit to the total amount of participants for the ICC, which is facilitated via Zoom. The Intercultural Communications seminar is typically two hours. (recommended due to rich content), but can be modified to fit one hour. The ASL workshops can be provided in four, eight, twelve or twenty four hour programs, as per your training needs. Those tracks can be broken up into time blocks, recommended at one to two hours each, taken once or twice a week. To uphold the high quality of instruction, we apply a low teacher to student ratio. Each cohort has a cap of ten participants. For example, if thirty nine participants from your organization are interested, then we will plan for four cohorts.
Connect with us at Contact here, and we will be more than happy to find the best training solution for your organization!
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 American Sign Language (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
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

(202) 730-2792

Monday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

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