An ASL Dictionary

Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.

And Much More!

Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more

Sign of the Day - BLESS YOU
(as in God bless you and what you say after someone sneezes)

All Articles

Start the School Year off Right with "Back to School" Animated Lessons!

Site News   |  Sunday, August 24, 2014

By Jillian Winn

Getting back into the routine of a new school year can be a challenge, but we’ve created 12 special “Back to School” instructional animations featuring sign language to help students make a smooth transition into the new school year. Crafted by educators, the “Back to School” lessons are designed for Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade and include common core extension lessons, active learning tools, and practice exercises to provide a comprehensive tool to teach 12 vital school behaviors during the first 4 weeks of school.

We are so confident that you will be successful with these “Back to School” instructional animations that we are offering a free trial for 30 days! (offer expires September 12, 2014) Register for the free "Back to School" program today.

Learn about the "Back to School" program:

The 12 “Back to School” lessons include:

  • Pay Attention When the Teacher is Teaching
  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself
  • Raise Your Hand and Wait to Be Called On
  • Know Which School Supplies to Take Home
  • Line Up Quietly
  • Always Tell the Truth
  • Respect Other People's Stuff
  • Know How to Handle Bullying
  • Be Quiet When Walking in the Halls
  • Respect Others On the Playground
  • Use Polite Words
  • Ask the Teacher for Help

Research shows:

  • Teaching and reinforcing appropriate proper behavior in children during the first weeks of school encourages better behavior throughout the entire school year.  
  • Children form emotional relationships with animated characters and children’s feelings about characters improve their learning.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) is the language created and used by the Deaf in the United States, Canada, parts of Mexico, and some other parts of the world.
  • Signs help everyone! Signs help children and adults understand and remember the concepts represented by words. Signs make learning a new word or concept easier.

Start your school year off right with the WonderGrove Learn "Back to School" animated lessons featuring sign language by Signing Savvy! The animations are a fun way for children to learn and practice sign language vocabulary, while specifically designed to fit well with an Early Childhood Curriculum - they are perfect for daily use in the home or classroom.

 

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Signing Savvy Announces New Sign Language Advisory Board Members

Site News   |  Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By Jillian Winn

We’re happy to announce the addition of two new members to our Sign Language Advisory Board.

The growing Sign Language Advisory Board is made up of thought leaders who have a deep subject manner expertise in sign language and are leaders in their respective fields. Our goal is to have a diverse advisory board with various backgrounds and experience to provide a wide range of advice and expertise. Our new advisory board members include:

Donalda Ammons

Donalda Ammons

Donalda Ammons, born to all deaf family and raised in Washington D.C., is Professor Emerita at Gallaudet University. She has a doctorate in higher education/foreign language education and taught for 31 years at Gallaudet. She continues to contribute as an author of numerous articles on Deaf culture and sports, published in various professional journals and books. Dr. Ammons has traveled to present papers and conduct workshops relating to human rights for deaf people, deaf sports, and political and educational leadership. Learn more about Donalda...

Diane Morton

Diane Morton

Diane Dyer Morton, hearing of Deaf parents, has been using American Sign Language on a daily basis for over 50 years in various settings within the Deaf community.  She was a School Psychologist and Administrator at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, and later a full professor in the Counseling Department at Gallaudet University. Certified by RID in 1980, she has also served as an interpreter in local, national and international settings. Learn more about Diane...

Together with these thought leaders we will continue improving Signing Savvy.  Watch for future blog articles from our advisory board members and for upcoming announcements from us on improvements being made to Signing Savvy based on feedback from them. As always, we welcome suggestions and feedback from you, our members and users.

 

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Interpreter Q & A: Are Piercings Ok for Interpreters?

Interpreter Q & A: Are Piercings Ok for Interpreters?

Interpreter Tips   |  Wednesday, August 13, 2014

By Brenda Cartwright

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the "Dear Abby" for the interpreting world - author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She will be contributing blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear Brenda" interpreter questions.

Dear Brenda,

Last week, while team interpreting in a post-secondary setting, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed a shiny metal ball bouncing around on my partner’s tongue. I found it very distracting and fascinating at the same time. Every time she opened her mouth it was all I could see. I know our Deaf client noticed it too, because when she was called on in class she admitted she was not concentrating, and asked if the professor could please repeat the question. My question is – do I say something to my partner or wait for the Deaf client to say something to her?

Sincerely,
Unsure Partner

An Experienced Interpreter's Perspective:

Experienced interpreter teams often have pre- and post- feedback sessions, not only with each other, but often include their consumers. If the Deaf consumer does not address the issue, you should tell your partner that "you" found it distracting and minimally suggest she consider using a clear ball instead of a metal one.

Experienced Deaf Consumer's Perspective:

As Deaf consumers have become more experienced and more empowered to speak up for ourselves in interpreting situations, we feel more comfortable addressing our needs directly with the interpreter. However, if for whatever reason the Deaf student does not address this "visual noise" issue with your partner, you should.

Have you experienced this problem too? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
 

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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For the last 30 years Brenda has been the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about Brenda  |  Articles by Brenda

Incidental Information You Don't Get when You're Deaf

Incidental Information You Don't Get when You're Deaf

Deaf Culture   |  Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Marta Belsky

This article is by Marta Belsky. Marta is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 20 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users.

Hearing people have access to “incidental information” all the time. They overhear conversations, they hear comments and remarks on the radio and television. Even background noises count as incidental information. This is called “hearing privilege.”  You don’t even think about it happening because it just does. How often can you actually pinpoint the exact moment you learned a new piece of information? Most of us forget where or how we came by the knowledge we have. We just know what we know. 

Here are some examples of when hearing people get information that deaf people don’t:

  • When a hearing person laughs at something someone said.
  • When hearing students (in a mainstream class) are talking about random things.
  • When an announcement is made over the PA system.
  • When you overhear a conversation at another table or in the next room.
  • When you can overhear 5 or 6 conversations at the same time around you and you can tune in or out of any conversation you want.
  • When interpreters (because of speed or skill) drop information.
  • When elementary school kids listen to what middle school or high school kids say on the bus.
  • An announcement on the radio.
  • A commercial on TV (not all shows or commercials are captioned).
  • Overhearing co-workers answers to client’s questions.
  • Comments between teachers and interpreters.
  • Every time a deaf student looks down to write notes they miss information from the interpreters.
  • What your kids are doing in the next room: closet doors opening, cupboards closing, water running, zippers zipping, tiptoeing up the stairs, giggling.
  • Hearing your keys drop, an alarm go off, a phone ring or a knock on the door. 

When communicating with the deaf, make sure you are aware of this incidental information and do your best to keep them in the loop.

Can you think of other examples of incidental information? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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About the Author

Marta Belsky Marta Belsky is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 20 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users. Marta is on the Lansing Community College Interpreter Training Program Advisory Board and has also been a board member for the Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Michigan Chapter of American Sign Language Teachers Association.

More about Marta  |  Articles by Marta

5 Tips for Job Hunting as an Interpreter

5 Tips for Job Hunting as an Interpreter

Interpreter Tips   |  Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Brenda Cartwright

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the "Dear Abby" for the interpreting world - author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She will be contributing blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear Brenda" interpreter questions.

Today applications for new jobs are increasingly offered exclusively via websites. With social media and our entire lives online most employers know quite a bit about you, including your reputation and writing skills, before they ever meet you face to face.  References have also become more important as references are sometimes the first people that interviewers speak to. 

Are you representing yourself well? How do you decide who to ask for a reference?

Here are 5 tips for laying the foundation for your job hunting and finding a good recommender:

1. Connect with Others

  • First impressions matter. Put your best foot forward.
  • Be personable and establish bonds with colleagues.

2. Represent Yourself Well Online

  • Who you are online reflects how people see you in person.
  • Don’t put anything on FB you aren’t proud of.
  • Go through your Facebook and delete anything (pictures and words) that gives you pause.

3. Send Professional Messages

  • Keep emails professional and purposeful.
  • Put thought into each email you send.
  • Re-read your emails before hitting “send.”

4. Choose a Good Recommender

  • Be realistic in assessing your relationships.
  • Choose people you respect and who respect you.
  • Be sure the person you ask has a good reputation themselves.

5. Communicate with your Recommender

  • Contact your references before you put them down.
  • Be positive, respectful and grateful to the person writing you a letter of recommendation. 

Do you have other pointers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For the last 30 years Brenda has been the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about Brenda  |  Articles by Brenda

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