About Signing Savvy
Signing Savvy is a labor of love by a team of educators striving to provide dynamic, easy-to-use, adaptable American Sign Language (ASL) learning tools tailor-made for parents, teachers, interpreters, and learners of all skill levels.
Signing Savvy began as a passion to increase access to ASL learning tools for parents of deaf children and students learning ASL. It has grown to include many different learning tips, strategies, and features to serve the millions of people interested in learning more about ASL, a truly beautiful and intricate language long recognized by linguists as equal to any spoken languages.
Why Signing Savvy Is So Important
Created by a dedicated team of educators, Signing Savvy offers immediate access to ASL as it should be seen in live or recorded motion. ASL is a visuo-gestural language with distinct identifiable parts—handshape, location, orientation, movement, and non-manual markers (facial expressions, for example). Printed sign language dictionaries with still images of signs with arrows to indicate movement simply do not adequately represent the full uniqueness and character of ASL. Only video can do this marvelous language justice
The Signing Savvy team created a dynamic online video dictionary of signs to make learning ASL easier for you, the learner. It also serves as a powerful reference resource at your fingertips.
The Importance of ASL Accessibility
As teachers and members of signing Deaf families, we know that parents and relatives especially need help communicating with their deaf children. Over ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents who do not know sign language. Extensive research shows that early language deprivation results in children who are not school ready and who fall behind their hearing peers. A great number never catch up. Many parents, often overworked and overwhelmed, do not have the time or money for sign language classes. Our goal is to lower the barriers for hearing parents and families with deaf children and give them ready access to sign language at home, online, and on the fly.
Did you know savvy hearing parents teach their hearing babies signs to reduce frustration, improve communication, and enhance cognitive development? Our belief is that encouraging parents of deaf children to sign is even more critical given the additional challenges their children face.
Whatever communication ideology parents choose to pursue, we hope that they will learn sign language, sign at home, and explore resources in their community to connect their children with deaf friends and deaf role models so that their children feel at home in the world and with themselves. Using sign language doesn't conflict with other educational approaches. If anything, it enhances learning and intellectual growth.
Bilingualism is a gift. Deaf children who achieve fluency in ASL and in English do better in school, have a stronger sense of identity, and are better adjusted. They can shift between the hearing and Deaf worlds more smoothly and confidently. Signing with your children every day is a surefire way to show them that you honor who they are and value a language that is natural to them.
How We Support Our Savvy Learners
The Importance of Bridging the Gap Between Home and School
Our word lists are designed for teachers of deaf children and the parents and students they work with. We want teachers to be able to build word lists of signs they can share with parents and students to help bridge the gap between home and school.
We hope this will make it easier for teachers to communicate what is being learned in school and for parents to learn and review signs with their children. What's more, we hope parents will also use word lists to share vocabulary with other family members, friends, and caregivers, expanding the circle of people in the deaf child's life who sign.
We regularly add articles to foster sign language learning for parents, students, teachers, and interpreters. Our support for learners includes providing tips, answering Q and A's, discussing nuances between signs, and sharing ideas for increasing literacy in deaf children. We share biographies about people who are hard of hearing or deaf as part of our ongoing efforts to educate you about Deaf culture, and we cover other Deaf culture topics from time to time.
Parents and students have told us how frustrating it is to learn ASL when a sign is demonstrated just once, in a high school or university course where you meet in person only a few hours per week. We get it! Nowadays, in the midst of a pandemic, those meetings may be held online in Zoom sessions that can be difficult to follow. So Signing Savvy enables you to practice and study with our quizzes and digital flash cards that are written to empower students and teachers to:
- create Signing Savvy word lists to go along with each lesson, helping students review vocabulary;
- watch a sign as many times as they need to until it's imprinted in their consciousness; and
- quiz themselves until they recognize the meaning of signs on sight.
How Signing Savvy Benefits You, the Savvy Learner
We are passionate educators with decades of experience in the classroom, writing sign language books, presenting at sign language conferences, working with teachers and interpreters, designing visually appealing and accessible websites for hungry learners like yourself.
We crafted Signing Savvy to be a great tool for improving receptive and expressive signing. Our signing models are chosen for their clarity. Our signed vocabulary list is constantly updated to keep our site current and relevant. Our resources are designed to help our learners feel more confident in their signing and feel emboldened to use their signing skills in their lives.
Get Additional Help Through One-on-One Sessions
Do you lack in-person resources in your local community? That's a common complaint. To help bridge the gap, take advantage of our one-on-one sessions. From the grandma who wants to sign with her grandson to the interpreter needing a little extra tutoring, we connect people to one of the signers on our team to help them practice and improve their skills. We're here for you!
The owners of Signing Savvy include Deaf, CODA, and hearing individuals.
Through the guidance of our multitalented Sign Language Advisory Board Members and feedback from our users, we continue to add valuable features to Signing Savvy. Please contact us with suggestions and ideas—we welcome your contributions! We are tirelessly working to make Signing Savvy the most comprehensive online learning resource for American Sign Language. You are an integral part of our team.
Be Savvy—join us!