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Recent Posts

BSL Fingerspelling Challenge - Post here!
Marie Jean Philip
"Sound Off" Challenge - Reflecting
The half hour “What would it be like to live without sound” Experience
Share your stories here!


American Sign Language
Deaf Culture Corner
Sign Language in the Medical Field
Special Offer From SIGNING Basics!


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BSL Fingerspelling Challenge - Post here!

BSL and ASL are so very different!  Let's see what you got! - Click the link below and post your comments and video here.

Marie Jean Philip

Share your thoughts on what you have learned about Ms. Philip and how her story has inspired you.   What do you think could be done at your college to continue her legacy?

"Sound Off" Challenge - Reflecting

Dear Friends,

What an eye opening growth opportunity for many of you taking the Sound Off challenge! We really enjoyed reading about your unique encounters!  It was not easy, but you bravely faced the challenge and succeeded! 

Since learning never ceases, let’s further deepen this experience by taking a moment to reflect on your encounters.  Re-live them in your mind, and then allowing your creativity to flow share your ideas, insights and observations, and consider how you can improve your environment so that it becomes communication friendly. You will be amazed at your ability to implement small changes in behavior, lighting and or position and learn how these little things can be big improvements when conversing with a Deaf/deaf person.”

Share your comments below

The half hour “What would it be like to live without sound” Experience

What might it be like for people who are born hearing and become deaf?

Not many people are aware of a group of people who lose their hearing later in life.  This is known as acquired deafness and the term used to describe a person who loses their hearing later in life is, “Late Deafen Adults”.   According to The Association for Late Deafen Adults, “Late–deafened usually means deafness that happened post–lingually, any time after the development of speech and language. Often it means after the age of adolescence (13 and above).

This sudden or even gradual hearing lost will eventually cause the person to alter their way of daily living.  From finding new ways to answer their telephones, looking out for wayward cars, ordering coffee in the coffee shop to engaging family members around the dinner table.  The loss of hearing is profound and life changing.

So, what would it be like to experience such an occurrence?  What would you do if you were impacted by a sudden loss hearing?  In our challenge we are asking you to join in for 30 minutes of no sound in a busy environment and then share your story with us.

Please note, everyone on the SIGNING Basics team is D/deaf including two late deafen adults.  We are fully aware that a 30 minutes’ experience will never give you a full understanding of what real deafness is like.  Even so, we value your observations and look forward to receiving your unique experience as you live for 30 minutes not relying on sound.

The sound off Challenge

To begin, find ear plugs that really work to block all sound.  Then, leaving your home, apt or dorm visit a place that is busy with people.  Select something from a menu and ask the server what comes with the order etc... or visit the library and ask for a book about a topic that requires back and forth communication with the librarian.  The idea is for you to purposely interact and engage people for 30 minutes and share your experience.

Please post on the add comment button below.


Share your stories here!

Interesting Facts about ASL

Did you know that there are over 200 distinct sign languages in the world!  Yup, 200 and counting!

As you will learn from communicating with Deaf people and in Deaf History classes. Deaf people who communicate using sign language are so proud of their history!  Here in the United States, Deaf education plays a significant role-if not the most significant role-in the foundation of American Sign Language (ASL).  Actually, ASL is most closely related to French Sign Language due to the intense history between the French, "Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris," and Thomas Gallaudet the co-founder of the American School for the Deaf.  However, sign language is just one part of Deaf Culture.  

Your turn, share what you have learned about the history of sign languages.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear Implants are a hot topic in the Deaf Community.  Share your insights in this blog.

Share your Deaf Culture in Action!

Dear Friends,

Have you attended a Deaf Culture or Sign Language event recently? Share your thoughts and insights on witnessing Deaf Culture in action. Feel Free to share your photos!

Select comment below and post here.

Why is learning Deaf Culture important for ASL students

Share what you have learned about Deaf Culture and why it is important.

ASL Workshop & Silent Paint Coming Soon!

Share your ASL experiences!

Are you learning ASL?  We want to hear from you.  Share your experiences, articles and helpful resources here.

Happy Signing!

What's happening in the Deaf World--JOBS!

Tips for Communicating with Deaf/HOH People

DEAF Culture Corner

Do and Don’t tips for Communicating with Deaf/HOH Persons 

 “Getting Attention”

To begin a conversation with a deaf person, you must first make eye contact with the person you want to communicate with. If this person is not looking at you, here is a do and don't do to try: 
DO: Waving to catch his/her eye
DON'T: When you wave, do not wave aggressively in the person's face or use huge gestures when you are standing close by.  Small movements of the hand is enough.  Use bigger hand movements when you are a bit of a distance from the person you want attention from.

Check out our next post for more do and don't do tips!

25% off our Introduction to ASL Class in Northampton!

Book your class by Wednesday April 9, 2014 and receive a 25% discount on our Introduction to ASL class in Northampton!

The James House
Wednesday Nights
April 16 - May 21
Make-up date May 28
6:30p - 7:30p
Special Offer $131.25

Register here


Medical Doctor skilled in Signs

Finally, a Doctor that is skilled in conversational sign language! 

Dr. Vasanth Kainkaryam specializes in the following medical specialties: Adult Medicine, Adult Survivors of Childhood Illnesses, Deaf Health, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medical Informatics, Newborn Care, and Pediatrics.  Please visit Dr. Vasanth Kainkaryam, M.D., Internal Medicine and Pediatrics website:

Be sure to share it with everyone you know!


The Best Signing Experience you have ever had?

What was best deaf event you have every attended?  What made it so good?

Abraham Lincoln Finger-Spelling?

I have heard on many occasions that Ole Abe is finger-spelling his initials while greeting his many admirers.  Your thoughts?

ASL Events and Stuff

Hello Signers,

Spring is finally here!  We have a couple of announcements to share with you. First, every third Thursday of the month a group of D/deaf and hearing signers meet at IHOP in West Springfield, Mass.  The group is called "HEAF Club" and they meet at 5p and their motto is "arrive when you can and leave when you must" to chat and have a meal together.

Second, SIGNING Basics will host a free one hour signing fun workshop at the East Longmeadow, MA Public Library on Saturday April 20th.  Check out our events page for more information.

I love to watch a new signer blossom in the language.  Many times people think they can't do it, or that their hands will never sign right.  BUT after a few classes and your skills begin to improve, it is like a flower blossoming in the warmth of a sunny day!

I look forward in hearing your stories... Tell us, what do you love most about signing?

Welcome to SIGNING Basics BLOG!

Hello Signers!
Welcome to my new blog... I am exctied and looking forward to sharing signing news with you.  To get started, did you know Jobs for sign language and other types of interpreters and translators in the United States are expected to increase 42 percent by 2020, to 58,400, according to the 2012-2013 U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook?  Your thoughts?
I look forward to hearing from you, signing warm regards!
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