Center for Language Studies

American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual-spatial language that utilizes “the shape, placement, and movement of the hands” along with non-manual markers (facial expressions, mouth morphemes, and body movement) to convey information and communicate complex ideas.

ASL is predominantly used in the United States and Canada; however, ASL can also be found in “the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Zaire, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and many other places." ASL is primarily utilized by d/Deaf people and communities; however, there exists a number of hearing ASL signers as well.

ASL is a uniquely accessible language that enables full communication for hard-of-hearing and d/Deaf individuals; thus, learning ASL offers the opportunity to form connections with the Deaf community and cultivate friendships/relationships outside of the hearing world.

ASL Faculty

ASL Events

Each year, the ASL program invites presenters to give lectures on a broad range of topics related to Deaf culture and the Deaf community. Lectures are often given in American Sign Language, and made accessible to a large audience through ASL-English interpreters and real-time captioning (CART).