Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Visual Language

Information About Facilitating Visual Language:

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Adult Involvement Learning Community
This site is a learning community of programs involved in providing services that connect families and their deaf or hard of hearing child with deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Facilitated through the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, the website of this learning community includes links to information on research and published literature, the role of technology and social media, examples of deaf and hard of hearing mentor/adult involvement programs, family stories, and other resources and tools on this topic.

Family Involvement in ASL Acquisition  
This 2013 research brief from Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2), focuses on parental involvement in facilitating American Sign Language (ASL) development. Included is a developmental sequence of typical ASL language acquisition as well as activities to encourage visual language development.

Science of Learning Center Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2)- Parent Information Package
This on-line package is a compilation of family education resources that includes evidence supporting the benefits of early visual language acquisition and ASL/English bilingualism for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and strategies for families to support early visual language acquisition.

Sign Language Use for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Babies: The Evidence Supports It
This collaboration of the American Society for Deaf Children and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center discusses evidence supporting sign language for babies who are deaf or hard of hearing. (Available in print and online in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.)

Through Your Child's Eyes: American Sign Language (video)
This 13-minute DVD created in 2011 by the California Department of Education and the California State University, Northridge shares the benefits of ASL as a language for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Experiences of both deaf and hearing families are included.

Visual Language Visual Learning (VL2)
This website of the Science of Learning Center (SLC) on Visual Language and Visual Learning, one of six SLCs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by Gallaudet University, includes a parent packet with information about visual learning and a series of research briefs on topics related to visual language and learning.

Resources to Support Visual Language Development:

ASL Apps:

Four ASL Apps
This website links to four popular apps to learn ASL: iASL, ASL Pro, Sign4Me, and ASL Dictionary.

Marlee Signs
This app highlights video demonstrations of Marlee Matlin teaching the basics of ASL, including the signed alphabet, basic vocabulary, and common expressions in everyday life. 

VL2 Storybook Apps
These apps provide stories in both ASL and English. 

ASL Nook
This resource for families learning ASL includes ASL words, pictures, and stories.

ASL Tales
This series of storybooks is packaged with a DVD to teach the fundamentals of ASL grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. Stories include The Princess and the Pea, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Tortoise and the Hare, and others.

ASL University
This website serves as an on-line ASL curriculum resource center.

Baby Signing Time
This video series teaches ASL signs for common words, questions, phrases, movements, colors, sports, days of the week, everyday objects, and common activities. It incorporates music with signs, songs, animation, and real signing babies for everyday events like playtime, getting dressed, going places, getting ready for bed, and manners. 

MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory for ASL
The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory for American Sign Language (ASL-CDI) provides a tool to measure early vocabulary development of deaf children acquiring ASL. The Inventory is embedded within this article.

Sign Media: ASL Fun
This website includes a variety of resources to promote experience with ASL in stories for children, entertainment by famous Deaf performers, ASL poetry, and classic stories performed in ASL by master storytellers.

Sign with Me: A Family Sign Language Curriculum
Volume 1; Building Conversations: www.boystownpress.org/index.php/sign-with-me-vol-1-building-conversations.html
Volume 2: Building Concepts: www.boystownpress.org/index.php/deaf-hard-of-hearing/sign-with-me-vol-2-asl-dvd-building-concepts.html
Volume 3: Positive Parenting: www.infanthearing.org/flashplayer/index.htm?file=http://www.infanthearing.org/flashvideos/Sign%20With%20Me%20Videos/Volume_3_Positive_Parenting.mp4
This resource includes instructional videos with an accompanying workbook, produced by the Center for Hearing Loss in Children at the Boys Town National Research Hospital to teach ASL to families.

Start ASL
This privately developed website provides information about ASL and well-developed, free, on-line courses to facilitate learning of ASL.

Teaching Signs for Baby Minds
On this website are DVDs with flashcards demonstrating how to use ASL to facilitate early language acquisition for babies.

Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist (VCSL) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
This website provides a standardized checklist to assist in tracking young children's sign language development from birth to age 5.

PDF of all resources