Did you know that BC Family Hearing Resource Centre has a number of opportunities available to learn American Sign Language (ASL)? Whether your family is pursuing ASL as a first language for your child, a second language as part of a bilingual approach to language development, or learning signs to support your child’s spoken language development, there are a number of opportunities available to you.
BC Family Hearing Resource Centre has a number of Sign Language Consultants on staff who have a wealth of experience teaching ASL to parents of young Deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Our consultants not only come alongside parents in their journey to learn sign language, but they also serve as positive Deaf role models/mentors for children. For our Vancouver Island families, we contract out local Sign Language Consultants through the Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre. All of our instructors are available to meet with families on a 1-to-1 basis, and the frequency of these sessions can vary from family to family.
Each year we offer a variety of group formats for ASL learning:
Monthly Drop in ASL program
This virtual drop-in class is run by two of our Sign Language Consultants, and each session is centered on a theme. The format includes vocabulary teaching, a story, and activity ideas for practicing these new skills with their children at home. While this was class is designed for parents, we also have some grandparents and other family members join!
8-week ASL classes:
In Fall 2020, BC Family Hearing started a new partnership with the folks at Queer ASL. Their team offers ASL classes to the wider community, using an established curriculum and experienced teachers. One of their instructors, Kim Palmer, was brought on board to teach classes specifically for parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Two levels are offered: ASL 101 and ASL 102.
Through these classes, families have a chance to watch pre-recorded lessons, as well as participate in “live” practice over Zoom.