Adams, P. (2009). American Sign Language: Vocabulary, grammar, etiquette. New York City, NY: Metro Books.

This directory is a basic introduction to the vocabulary, grammar, and etiquette of ASL. It begins with numbers and the letters of the alphabet, before moving on to a range of common words and simple phrases. 

Bahan, B. & Dannis, J. (1990) Signs for me: Basic vocabulary for children, parents & teachers. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.

300 basic words in ASL arranged in thematic groupings. Clearly illustrated signs, the English word in print, and an illustration allow for effective bilingual learning.

Breindel, T. (2008) ASL Babies. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.

American Sign Language Series of board books with signs for common words used in everyday communication with babies/toddlers. Organized around topics like food and clothing, each book contains 14 signs. They are particularly effective and fun, and encourage family bonding through reading and signing at an early age.  

Carroll, C & Mather, M (1997). Movers & Shakers: Deaf People Who Changed the World Storybook. San Diego, CA. DawnSignPress.

A history buff or not, this book chronicles the indomitable human spirit, the lives of both famous and unsung deaf heroes and remarkable achievers—some culturally deaf, some not—who changed the society around them and the world we live in today. Includes references on Deaf culture and history, fingerspelling, gestures and sign language, Deaf publications, and English as a second language.

Cartwright, B.E. & Suellen, B.J. (2002). Fingerspelling in American Sign Language. Alexandria, VA: RID Press.

The goal of this book is to provide intermediate signers a better understanding of the normal flow of fingerspelling as a whole. This book includes warm up and developmental exercises in each unit. Illustrations are not included, making it more suitable for intermediate ASL users.

Chambers, D.P. (1998). Communicating in sign: Creative ways to learn American  Sign Language. New York: Fireside.

A nationally certified ASL interpreter wrote this book for parents, professionals, family members, and friends who are learning ASL. There are nine chapters that give details about emotions, natural gestures, Deaf culture, meetings and greetings, home, workplace, and school.

Costello, E. (2008). Random House Webster's Pocket American Sign Language Dictionary. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.

Over 1,000 signs, clearly described and illustrated, in an affordable, use anywhere pocket dictionary.

Fant, L. (1994). The American Sign Language Phrase Book. Chicago: McGraw-Hill Companies. 

The ASL Phrase Book provides 368 pages filled with everyday phrases and sayings used by people in the Deaf community. A synopsis of ASL structure is given; therefore readers can internalize ASL grammar.

Grayson, G. (2003). Talking with your hands listening with your eyes: A complete photographic guide to American Sign Language. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.

This book provides parents with easy ASL phrases, introduction of handshape, signing area, and signing etiquette.

Heflin, S. (2004). American Sign Language for Families (book). Bakersfield, CA: Color of Language.

American Sign language for Families book, is a valuable reference tool for learning American Sign Language (ASL). Using practical lessons, this easy to follow guide  will take you through the steps to learning everyday conversational ASL. This book can be used in conjunction with The Family Sign Language Series DVD set to make a powerful learning experience. Also available in Spanish!

Ladd, P. (2003). Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Deaf cultures have an important contribution to academic disciplines and human lives in general. The book aims to assess the concepts of culture, on their own terms and in their many forms and to apply these to deaf communities. The author introduced a new concept of "deafhood", a process by which every deaf child, family and adult implicitly explains their existence in the world to  themselves and each other.

Lane, H. (1992). The mask of benevolence: Disabling the deaf community. California: DawnSignPress.

This book sheds light on the mistreatment of the deaf community by a hearing establishment that resists understanding and awareness. Critically acclaimed as a breakthrough when it was first published in 1992, this new edition includes information on the science and ethics of childhood cochlear implants. An indictment of the ways in which experts in the scientific, medical, and educational establishment purport to serve the deaf, this book describes how they, in fact, do them great harm.

Lane, H., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan, B. (1996). Journey into the DEAF-WORLD. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.  

The authors explore and explain the nature and meaning of the DEAF-WORLD, covering such topics as: Deaf culture, the benefits of signed language and Deaf culture for deaf children, how Deaf children are educated, the nature of American Sign Language, the role of technology in Deaf people's lives, and what Deaf societies in other countries can teach us.

Lewis, K.B. & Henderson, R. (2001). Sign language made simple. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

This book contains general information about conversing in ASL. Over 1,000 basic ASL signs are arranged in alphabetical order.

MacDougall, C. (1998). Numbering in American Sign Language: Number signs for everyone. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.

Take the mystery out of number signs and boost your counting power in ASL. In the Number Signs for Everyone video, Deaf presenter Cinnie MacDougall demonstrates the different rules and handshapes for clearly, accurately communicating numbers.

Matthews, T. (1995). Signsation! Games for teaching sign language. Academic Communication Associates.

This book provides ideas for games to help parents, siblings, and deaf children learn ASL.  

Ogden, P. W. (1996). The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. 

The Silent Garden provides parents of deaf children with crucial information on the greater possibilities afforded their children today. Deaf since birth, Paul Ogden, a professor of Deaf Studies, offers parents a firm foundation for making the difficult decisions necessary to begin their child on the road to realizing his or her full potential.. Case studies and interviews with parents of deaf children help to reassure parents that they can prepare their child for a full, productive life.

Schwartz, S., & Heller, J. E. (1996). The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Special Needs. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.                                

This book provides ideas to parents and professionals about how to use everyday toys to stimulate and promote language development in children with additional needs.


Shroyer, E. & Shroyer, S. (1984). Signs Across America. Washington, DC: Gallaudet College Press.  

The purpose of this book is to new signers to learn about regional ASL sings in different states.

Tennant, R. A. & Brown, G.M. (1998). The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

This dictionary is organized by ASL handshapes instead of by English letters.

Sign Language Children’s Series Set by DawnSignPress.

DawnSignPress’s coloring book series is an entertaining play-and-learn tool for parents and teachers designed for use with children both at home and in school. Six books use a multi-channel system to build vocabulary and develop skills in signing, fingerspelling, reading, and writing.


Valente, J.M. (2011). d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero. New York: Peter Lang.

Author Joseph Valente says: d/Deaf and d/Dumb chronicles my dumb, deaf kid origins on Bayport, Long Island to my life now as a young superhero writer. Portraying the conflicting cultural worlds of hearing and Deaf, it describes my life in an in-between underworld, my identity as it alternates between being oppressed and empowered. These feelings are inescapably and forever the reality of those who live on the margins of our larger society.

Zurer, B. (2008). Raising a bilingual child: A step-by-step guide for parents. New York: Random House.

This book provides scientific arguments for raising a child bilingually and practical steps parents can take to integrate two or more languages into a child’s daily routine. It also contains first-hand accounts from parents and dispels myths about bilingualis


Aiello, P. & Hood, J. (2008). ASL Tales: Rapunzel. Calgary, Alberta: ASL Tales Canada. 

This book is written in English and it also includes a DVD with the story narrated in ASL. The DVD has page numbers to help readers to keep track with the story. The combination of ASL and English can help children build their literacy skills.

Jacobowitz. L & Smith, A.K. (2005). Have You Ever Seen--? An American Sign Language (ASL) Handshape DVD/Book.

Have You Ever Seen...? An American Sign Language DVD/Book, the first in a series, is a whimsical children's book providing animated illustrations of 44 commonly used ASL handshapes in a collage-like fashion. The colorful illustrations also incorporate information about the Deaf community and its culture and language.  The accompanying DVD includes an ASL version of the book, signed by native ASL users.

Millman, I. (1998). Moses Goes to a Concert. New York, NY: Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus, Giroux.                                                                                              

A group of deaf children attend a concert, holding balloons in their laps to feel the vibrations. The percussionist in the orchestra is also deaf and after the concert she tells them her story (in ASL) and allows them to try out all her instruments. Cartoon illustrations of sign language augment the printed text. (Grades PS-2).

Okimoto, J. D. (1993). A Place for Grace. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books.                                                                                     Grace is a stray dog who wants to be a service dog for blind people. Instead, a deaf man chooses Grace to be his "hearing dog" and she starts the rigorous training program. Despite some challenges, Grace passes her test and becomes an official hearing dog with a special knack. (Grades 2-4)

Rodriguez, A. & Starr, J. (2008). ASL Tales: The Princess and the Pea. Calgary, Alberta: ASL Tales Canada.                                                                                     

This book is written in English and it also includes a DVD with the story narrated in ASL. The DVD has page numbers to help readers to keep track with the story. The combination of ASL and English can help children build their literacy skills

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