National Association of the Deaf

Learning American Sign Language



Learning American Sign Language (ASL) takes time, patience, practice, and a sense of humor.

If you are a parent of a newly-identified child who is deaf or hard of hearing, you can request ASL instruction from your child’s early intervention system. Early intervention systems are designed to help your child develop in all areas. These systems also are designed to provide services to families so that families can support their child. More information is available at Sign Language for Parents.

Individual signs are relatively easy to learn. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. To learn enough signs for basic communication and to sign them comfortably, can take a year or more. Some people pick up signs more slowly than others, and if that is the case with you, don’t be discouraged. Everyone learns sign language at their own speed. Be patient and you will succeed in learning the language. The rewards will be well worth the effort!

You can start learning ASL by attending a sign language class. Sign language classes can be found at community colleges, universities, libraries, churches, organizations/clubs of the deaf, and lots of