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Silent Communications Resource Group – American Sign Language ASL Resources and Learning Instruction Video Information

Effective Living > Language

Summary. Welcome to the Silent Communications Resource Group (SCRG). This online resource offers access to information about silent communications. Today, American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most popular language in the United States  next to English and Spanish, and the popularity of sign language is rapidly growing around the world! Primarily the information here refers to American Sign Language (ASL).

Many Uses of Sign Language. If you have family and/or friends who are deaf, American Sign Language (ASL) or the sign language common to your country or region is probably an important part of being able to communicate easily and effectively. There are many additional uses of ASL that most people have not considered. ASL is increasingly considered to be more effective than speech as a means of communications for numerous venues and situations. There are many professional and personal applications for ASL being discovered every day. [more]

Resources. Below are resources for more information.

  • 32 Uses and Benefits of Sign Language – A great resource for inspiring people to learn more about this powerful language.
  • ADA.gov – Many rights, benefits, and equal opportunities for deaf people are made possible because of laws supporting those with disabilities. However, it is important to point out that many deaf people do not consider themselves being hindered or handicapped because of their deafness.
  • ASLAccess.org – “Over 200 American Sign Language (ASL) videos …. ASL biographies, comedy, poetry, storytelling, sign lessons, classic literature translations, parenting videos, health programs, children’s shows, and sophisticated, silent plays, all found on your local library shelves through the work of ASL Access. This is the ASL Access Video Collection, now available nationwide in dozens of locations, giving millions of people access to American Sign Language.”
  • ASL Browser – Online American Sign Language Dictionary showing video of various words and phrases.
  • ASL University – “ASL University is an online curriculum resource for American Sign Language students, instructors, interpreters, and parents of deaf children. Feel free to use the various lessons and resources for self-study at no cost. There is no need to register or pay.  These resources are free for your personal study. If you are a teacher, you have permission to use the lessons to teach your in-person classes.”
  • CDVRS.com – “CSDVRS was founded as a division of Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) in 1999. After working closely with the Texas Public Utilities Commission, CSDVRS launched its inaugural service to the nation in 2000. By 2001, CSDVRS was the nation’s only 24/7 provider, and was also the first to offer Spanish VRS, video mail and Personal 800 Numbers. CSDVRS was developed based on feedback from the nation’s deaf and hard of hearing community. They deserved a functionally equivalent way to communicate that was more fluid than the sometimes cumbersome traditional relay service. Using CSD’s expertise in the interpreting industry — over 30 years — CSD was able to transition community interpreters’ abilities to a video–based, relay environment.”
  • Deaf.com – “All of us agree that DEAF.com is an important part of our mission to serve the community. Community service is what this venture is about. We’re not interested in making money off the Internet, but in utilizing it as an effective means to improve public attitudes. DEAF.com continues to grow and expand its scope and outreach. Our plans include adding new sites and upgrading existing ones, and taking advantage of new Internet technology to make DEAF.com the best, most exciting, and useful site on the Web.” [more]
    • DeafLife.com – An online magazine about the Deaf community.
    • DeafNews.com – News stories from the Deaf community.
    • DeafPeople.com – “This site celebrates the achievements of deaf people in history, and those who are still active in their careers. Each month, we’ll highlight a contemporary newsmaker.”
  • DeafLinx.com – Directory of ASL resources.
  • DeafMall.net – Directory of ASL resources.
  • Deafness.About.com – “American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language with its own syntax and grammar, and is the underlying pillar of deaf culture. When used in combination with English, sign language can help both hearing and deaf children to learn. Hearing and deaf people who socialize in the deaf community may need to know sign language. These resources will help you learn and enjoy sign language.” [more]
  • DeafWorks.com – Deaf Technology Manufacturer since April 1988
  • DisabilityInfo.gov – Many rights, benefits, and equal opportunities for deaf people are made possible because of laws supporting those with disabilities. However, it is important to point out that many deaf people do not consider themselves being hindered or handicapped because of their deafness.
  • DummyHoy.com – “This Website serves three basic purposes: (1) to promote awareness of the career and achievements of William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy (1862-1961), the great deaf Major League baseball player; (2) to keep the community informed on the progress of the “Dummy” Hoy Committee’s campaign to get Hoy inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.; and (3) to promote Deaf Life Press’s upcoming biography of Hoy.” [more]
  • FunBrain.com/signs – Fingerspelling online learning and quiz.
  • Gallaudet.edu – “Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. The University enjoys an international reputation for the outstanding graduate programs it provides deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students, as well as for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people. In addition, the University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children at its two demonstration schools and throughout the nation by developing, implementing, and disseminating innovative educational strategies.” [source]
  • HamiltonNationalRelay.com – “Hamilton Video Relay delivers a vivid, life-like picture, speedy response times and quality interpreters. It’s a Hometown mindset that includes a very personal addition — your own 800 number. So now you can make and receive calls. It’s all part of Hamilton Video Relay, exclusively designed for Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Disabled individuals who use American Sign Language. It’s free, available 24/7/365 and fully customizable. Hi-tech meets Hometown with Hamilton Video Relay.”
  • HandSpeak.com – “Handspeak® is a sign language online, consisting of American Sign Language (ASL) online dictionary, ASL grammar, manual alphabet (fingerspelling) + numeral, and others: Baby Talk, International Sign Language, gesture, ASL storytelling and art… “
  • HarrisComm.com – “Since 1982, Harris Communications has been the one-stop source for sign language books, TTYs, amplified telephones, signalers and vibrating clocks and more! From wireless pagers and assistive listening devices to sign language CDs, DVDs, books, videos and novelties, shop Harris Communications for a great selection of over 1,000 products for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, as well as for children, parents, teachers, students, interpreters and others interested in American Sign Language and the Deaf Culture.”
  • ip-relay.com – “IP-RELAY.com was the first service to offer deaf and hard of hearing persons the ability to place calls over the Internet. Calls terminating within the United States are placed confidentially and free of charge. Users have the ability to request a male or female operator based on preference. IP-RELAY.com users are not required to register or provide proof of disability. Calls can be placed either by the Call Now option which automatically connects to a relay operator at the click of a button or through the Custom Calling option which gives you the ability to customize communication.”
  • LifePrint.com – Online video database of American Sign Langauge words and phrases.
  • NAD.org – “The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.”
  • PEPNet.org – “PEPNet provides resources and expertise that enhance educational opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing–including those with co-occurring disabilities. PEPNet’s national outreach is coordinated through its four regional centers. At the local level, each state’s contact person is the gateway to the shared knowledge and best practices of the four regions. PEPNet regional centers work collaboratively to provide a broad variety of best practices & resources where and when you need them to enhance educational opportunities.” [source]
  • PhoneTag.com – A service that automatically converts your phone messages into text messages that are sent to your e-mail account with the original audio recording of the message.
  • SignEnhancers.com – “We’ve been a trusted and preferred source for sign language and interpreter instructional media (videotapes, DVD, CDs, textbooks, and curricula) for over 20 years. We are proud to have you as a partner in enhancing the quality of life for Deaf people and the people who work within the deaf and interpreting communities. Our goal is to put ASL and interpreting skills in your hands! We know you will find our products to be of the utmost quality and you’ll receive the maximum results. Thank you for your continued patronage. It is our pleasure and honor to assist you become the most fluent and competent ASL user.”
  • SigningOnline.com – “We offer web-based courses, designed to effectively teach you American Sign Language (ASL) at your own pace from anywhere in the world. The courses focus on conversational ASL and make extensive use of digital video to demonstrate the visual nature of signing. The courses are perfect for anyone wanting to learning ASL. State Board Approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available to educators and Continuing Education (CEs) contact hours are available for nurses.”
  • SignMedia.com – “Sign Media, Inc. is proud to be the world’s leading producer of videotaped and text material on American Sign Language and American Deaf Culture. This site is your guide to many aspects of this unique visual culture and its language. You will also find information about various video and print resources to help you learn more about the Deaf Community, its language and its culture.”
  • SoundClarity.com – “Sound Clarity, Inc. is privately owned and operated by George and Barbara Khal of Iowa City, IA. Our staff is highly trained, has extensive first hand experience with hearing loss and eager to help you with your needs. We operate a showroom in Iowa City and we invite you to visit us anytime whenever you are in the area. The trip will be worth your while. We also have a full-line catalog. Our dream is to help you maintain your independence and live life to its fullest. We can do that by offering you choices for the best assistive technology available. While we cannot restore your hearing, speech or vision to normal, our Sound Clarity staff promise that through technology, we can help you limit the impact hearing, speech or vision impairments might have on your life. We understand first-hand that, with adequate technology, a disability can be restored to an ability in each and every one of us.”
  • VideoLinkwell.com. “The VideoLinkwell application has three components: Record, Feedback and Import. Students record a sample of their work interpreting a source movie. Once a VideoLInkwell project has been created it can be viewed in the Feedback window. The student can review their work and their instructor’s comments. They can also add their own comments as well or record their attempts to re-interpret sections of the source movie.”
  • VoiceThread.com. “With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install. A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).”

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By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com