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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.

ASL Training



American Sign Language (ASL) is quickly becoming one of the most widely used languages in the United States of America. While being the distinctive language of the Deaf community, ASL has been attracting growing interest from the Hard of Hearing and hearing communities, as well. Recent studies of ASL have broadened the understanding of its structure, grammar and uniqueness. Textbooks, CDs and a variety of other study devices have been published to support learning this rich and complex language. With the advent of the Internet, students can now link to computer–accessible sites to see signs demonstrated.

It should be noted, that trying to learn a visual–gestural language through textbooks alone is almost impossible. There is no substitute for learning the language from those who speak it fluently, either members of the Deaf Community or qualified teachers.

In Michigan, high school foreign language credit may be granted to students who satisfactorily complete a high school course offered in American Sign Language or who attain proficiency in American Sign Language outside of a public or private high school curriculum. For more information on this law click here.

Online ASL Browser

Michigan State ASL Browser

Michigan State University’s ASL Browser is an online American Sign Language (ASL) dictionary. At this site, you can look up English words and view video clips of the ASL equivalent.

The web site contains a sample of the material found on the award winning Personal Communicator CD–ROM. However, the web site does not contain the rich graphics, sound, video, interactivity, and instant connection (download time) found on the CD-ROM. The CD-ROM is available for purchase.

American Sign Language Courses

List of Interpreter Training Programs in Michigan

The following schools and agencies provide training in American Sign Language. Details regarding courses can be obtained by contacting each program at the address, or phone number provided. Note that some colleges offer ASL in non–credit community education classes. Also check the listing for Interpreter Training Programs

Baker College of Auburn Hills
Lynn Sedlacko, ITP Coordinator
1500 University Drive
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Toll-Free: (888) 429-0410

Baker College of Flint
Beverly Schumer, Ph.D., Dean of Education and Human Services
Bonnie Massoud ITP Coordinator
1050 West Bristol Road
Flint, MI 48507

Baker College of Muskegon
Valerie Manglitz, Coordinator of Interpreter Training Program
1903 Marquette Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49442
Phone: (231) 777-5241
Toll-Free: (800) 937-0337
Fax: (231) 777-5265

Communication Access Center (CAC)
Enrichment Programs
Flint, Michigan, 48503
Telephone: (810) 239–3112
Fax: (810)239–1606

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Connection
500 West Western Ave., Suite 100
Muskegon, MI 49440
Voice: (231) 722-DHHC (3442)
TYY/FAX: (231) 722-3443

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
500 Cherry St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI. 49503
616-732-7358 V
616-732-7362 TTY
616-732-7365 Fax

Deaf Expressions
Owner: Michele Bornert
2133 McKee Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 856-9885 v/vp

Delta College
Handicapped Student Services Office
University Center, MI 48710
(517) 686–9096
(517) 686–9092

Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
University Information:
(734) 487–1849

Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Dr.
Allendale, MI 49401–9403
(616) 331–5000

Kirtland Community College
10775 N. St. Helen Rd.
Roscommon, MI 48653
(989) 275–5000
(989) 275–6789 Fax

Lansing Community College
PO Box 400410
Lansing, MI 48901–1139
(517) 483–1031
(517) 483–1508

Macomb Community College – Center Campus
44575 Garfield Road
Clinton Township, MI 48048–1139
(589) 445–7999

Macomb Community College — South Campus
14500 E. 12 Mile Road H–320
Warren, MI 48093–3896
(810) 445–7498

Madonna University
Dan McDougall, CSC
Chair | Sign Language Studies

Bridget Mitchell

36600 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Mott Community College
Jennifer Doerr, CI & CT, MA, ASLTA Cert.
Coordinator ASL/SLIE Program and Faculty
Humanities Division
1401 East Court St.
Flint, MI 48503–2383
810-232-8879 Voice
810-232-9478 Fax
(Click on Interpreter Education at the near bottom)

Northwestern Michigan College
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 995–1929

Oakland Community College
Two–year associate’s degree Sign Language Interpreter Program
3 Locations in South East Michigan
Kelly Flores –

Oakland University
Department of Rhetoric, Communication and Journalism
316 Wilson Hall
Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309–4401
(248) 370–4120
(248) 370–4208 (Fax)
Dr. David Lau,

Signing Online LLC

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 764–1817

Sign Language Books, Catalogues and Films

There are many books and computer–assisted programs to support learning American Sign Language. A good place to start is the bookstore of any college that offers ASL courses. Michigan State University has a website that offers thousands of animated signs to help understand the vocabulary– MSU ASL Web Browser. A CD on the subject is also available from MSU as mentioned in the box above. Below are additional resources for learning American Sign Language:

American Sign Language Dictionary Unabridged

by Martin L. Sternberg
(click on book image/title to go to Amazon Website for order information)

American Sign Language Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has developed this unique CD–ROM dictionary that includes video clips of signs and shows most of the signs in sentences. By seeing the inflections and learning how they work in context, ASL comprehension is enhanced.
(click on the image/title to go to NTID website for order information)

American Sign Language Phrase Book CD–ROM

Over 200 sentences or phrases are presented, each organized by commonly occurring themes like health, family, school, sports, travel, religion, time, money, food and drink.
Order available at

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning Sign Language

by Susan Shelly, Jim Schneck
(click on book image/title to go to Amazon Website for order information)

Signing for Dummies

by Adan R. Penilla, Angela Lee Taylor (Paperback)
(click on book image/title to go to Amazon Website for order information)

ASL Deafined
ASL Deafined is an online tutorial on ASL Education with one sign at a time or your own pace.
A board game, similar to bingo. The words are signed in ASL, with players following the pictoral handshapes on the cards. While having fun, signing skills are being practiced. This hands–on activity makes learning ASL easy!

Signing Time!
A television and DVD series that teaches ASL to children (and adults).

American Sign Language
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 604
Silver Spring, MD 20910–3803
(619) 587–1789

Bison Shop
The Gallaudet University Bookstore 800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002–3695
(202) 651–5052
(202) 651–5054

Dawn Sign Press
6130 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121–3223
(800) 549–5350
(858) 625–0600 V/TTY
(858) 625–2336 Fax

Harris Communications Inc.
15155 Technology Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344–2277
(800) 825–6758 V
(800) 825–9187 TTY
(952) 906–1099 Fax

Michigan State University
Special Education Unit and Deaf Education
335 Erickson
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 355–1871
(517) 355–1837
MSU ASL Browser:

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
NAD Publishing Division
8630 Fenton St., Suite 604
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3803
(301) 587–6282 V
(301) 587–6283 TTY
(301) 587–4873 Fax

Signing Savvy is an online sign language video dictionary.

Sign Media, Inc.
4020 Blackburn Lane
Burtonsville, MD 20866–1167
(800) 475–4756 V/TTY
(301) 421–0268 V/TTY
(301) 421–0270 Fax

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