All Blog Articles

The mysterious confusion between deafness and blindness

The mysterious confusion between deafness and blindness

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Oh, so you work with deaf people...so does that mean you know Braille?" I am sure many of you who have told people you are interested in sign language have heard a question similar to the one above. Although Braille is used by the blind, people often confuse it as a tool for the deaf. As a former teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children, I have witnessed confusion between deafness and blindess several times in my career. ...
Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

By Jillian Winn  |  Thursday, December 23, 2010

The beginning of 2011 will mark the end of our second year of being live on the Internet, and once again, we are very grateful for the support of all of our users. We particularly are thankful for our full members who allow us to continue to grow the site. And grow the site we will! We have several exciting things planned for Signing Savvy in 2011. From all of us at Signing Savvy, we wish you joy and ...
Sign language meets dance on DWTS finale

Sign language meets dance on DWTS finale

By Jillian Winn  |  Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sign language was an integral part of Christina Aguilera's dance performance last night in the season 11 series finale of Dancing With the Stars. Check out the performance below. Don't you think the signing really enhances the emotional impact of the song and the ...
Signing is like being a thesaurus

Signing is like being a thesaurus

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am often asked "I can't find the sign for....." And it will be words like FINALIZATION or SUMMARIZATION. My answer is often...."It is there." You may not get a result when you search for FINALIZATION, but that does not mean you are out of luck. Unlike the spelling in the English language where one spelling is equal to one word, sign language is different. There are many signs that can mean more than one word. We ...
The Importance of Facial Expressions

The Importance of Facial Expressions

By John Miller  |  Sunday, October 3, 2010

Facial expression plays a very important part in the meaning of a sign. The same exact hand-shape and movement can totally change meaning because of the facial expression that is used to accompany it. One example of this is the word MUCH. The degree of how much can totally be determined by the facial expression alone while the sign stays the same. Other examples would be the words INTERESTING and FUNNY. Both of these words can be changed to ...
The difference between ASL and English signs

The difference between ASL and English signs

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One question many new signers ask me is: "What is the difference between ASL signs and English signs?" and "What does it mean to have an initialized sign?" These are two really good questions. It is important to understand the difference, particularly when signing to a member of the Deaf community. Some background information You may have noticed that sometimes people are referred as deaf (little d) and other times as Deaf (big D). ...
Back to School with Several Enhanced Features

Back to School with Several Enhanced Features

By Jillian Winn  |  Sunday, August 8, 2010

As the school year approaches, we want to let you know of a few things we have recently done on Signing Savvy particularly for teachers and students. Many sign language teachers and professors are using Signing Savvy to create word lists (aka, vocabulary lists) of their lesson plans and then sharing them with their students. This allows the students to use Signing Savvy's online flash cards and quizzing features to quickly reinforce what they learned in the classroom from ...
New site design and functionality

New site design and functionality

By Jillian Winn  |  Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We have been working hard this summer on a redesigned version of the Signing Savvy website. We are happy to make it available as of today! The new design refreshes the look and polishes the functionality of Signing Savvy while not being so different that you have to relearn how to use the site. One of our goals was to take advantage of some of the newer web technologies to make a better user experience. However, if you are using ...
Directional Verbs

Directional Verbs

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There are a group of verbs that are often referred to as Directional Verbs. These are also known as Indexical verbs or Verb Agreement. These verbs do just what the term suggests; they show directionality. They do this by using an element of motion that indicates one or more referents (see post on Setting Up People, Places, and Things for more on referents). These verbs can be used pretty simply by setting people up, then using ...
Setting Up People, Places and Things

Setting Up People, Places and Things

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The use of space is a very important feature in American Sign Language. The way to be able to refer back to different people, places or things (referents) is to use the space around the signer. You do this by setting up the space. This is done in a three dimensional manner. It can be done in the space to the left or right of the signer, in front of the signer, in a semi-circle around ...