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American Sign Language

About American Sign Language

What is American Sign Language?

Sign language is based on the idea that sight is the most useful tool a deaf person has to communicate and receive information. Thus, ASL uses hand shape, position, and movement; body movements; gestures; facial expressions; and other visual cues to form its words.

Why should you study American Sign Language?

American Sign Language (ASL) is growing in popularity as many students choose to learn it, because it is a fascinating language to learn. Not only is ASL a fun language to learn, it is popular because of the variety of situations where it can be used. Currently ASL is the fourth most commonly used language in the United States. ASL can be used in many other areas, such as:

  • ASL in the workplace
  • Deaf education
  • Teaching ASL
  • Counseling
  • Interpreting
  • Social work

We offer up to the 2020 level of ASL classes, and do not have a major or minor in ASL.

American Sign Language Courses

Covers the principles, methods, and techniques of manual communication with deaf individuals. Development of mime activities and expressive and receptive skills in the understanding of basic grammatical structure is also included.

Continue to study the development of basic conversational skills with emphasis on expressive and receptive skills. The focus will be on development of language concepts through activities related to people and things within the immediate environment.

Grammar and functions of ASL. Culture of the deaf community. Application of basic ASL skills in actual situations. Continue learning form, structure, and lexicon.

A practicum. Idiomatic expressions as used by deaf adults. Deaf guest lecturers, community visits, artistic expressions, songs, poetry, and colloquial conversation.

Course for graduate students wishing to fulfill the MA language requirement.

American Sign Language Resources

Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A community for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and their families: Promoting connections, awareness and equity, while inspiring greatness.

Sanderson Center

Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals meet, socialize and learn at the Sanderson Center. The classrooms are built with “Deaf eyes” in mind. Assistive listening systems are also installed throughout the building. Deaf sporting events and tournaments make the Gym most popular place at the Center.

The Sanderson Community Center offers an array of services again funded with state monies such as: Community Education classes; Counseling; Case Management; Vocational Rehabilitation services; Senior Citizen programs; Independent Living services; Hard of Hearing Adjustment training; Interpreter training and Certification; Technology Demonstration, Installation and Repair; Disabled Deaf programs; and a Bookstore run by the Utah Association for the Deaf, Inc.

The Center can provide these same services and classes to rural or remote cities via videoconferencing. The Sanderson Center is where Deaf and Hard of Hearing organizations hold their meetings and have their socials. It is also a place where you can just drop by if you are feeling alone and need to communicate with other Deaf individuals.


Sean Benson

Associate Instructor

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Last Updated: 6/5/24