Program in American Sign Language
P.O. Box 400808
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22902-4808
Phone: (434) 924-7105 (leave message)
Fax: (434) 924-1478
Overview American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language of many Deaf people in
the United States and Canada. Linguists recognize ASL as a full-developed human language with its own
lexicon, syntax, and morphological processes. ASL lies at the heart of a unique culture. Deaf people who
sign form a tightly-knit community with distinct social norms, values, and traditions. They have developed
a growing body of literature, including ASL poetry, storeis, and plays, many of which are now available on
videotape. Crrently the American Sign Language Program offers a four-semester sequence in ASL, from the
beginning through the intermediate level. Due to limited space and funding, we can only accept about 75
students per semester.
Faculty The American Sign language Program consists of one full-time faculty member
and several part-time faculty, who together offer expertise in a wide range of areas: Deaf history and
culture; ASL linguistics; ASL poetry, storytelling, and folklore; the local, national, and international
Deaf communities; Deaf advocacy and legal rights; sign language interpreting' and so forth. In addition,
the program regularly invites nationally-recognized scholars and performers to visit the University
through the Annual ASL/Deaf Culture Lecture Series.
Students Students from across the University find ASL classes a valuable complement
to their programs of study. While the majority of ASL students come from the College of Arts and Sciences,
students majoring in fields such as education, audiology, and speech-language pathology also frequently
Placement Students with prior ASL experience should contact the ASL Program before
classes begi. We will arrange a diagnostic interview to ensure placement in the correct ASL course.
Special Resources Through the Annual ASL/Deaf Culture Lecture Series, each year
prominent Deaf people come to campus to share their language, culture, and worldview. these events
are open to the general public and frequently draw Deaf people from all over the state. Other resources
include local sign lunches and dinners; a growing collection of American Sign Language videotapes
library; language laboratory videos, which help students develop their receptive abilities; and the
Arts and Sciences Media Center that students use to practice exxpressive skills. DEAFS sponsors
Deaf-related events for interesed undergraduates.
Major Since we offer only a basic sequence of courses, no major or minor in ASL
is currently available at the University.
Language Requirement Students who successfully complete ASL 202 may use ASL for
their foreign language requirement. Classes must be taken in sequence; once they are placed, students
cannot "jump" from one level to the next.
Additional Information For more information, contact Christopher Krentz,
Director of the ASL Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.