HCN News & Notes

Willie Ross School for the Deaf Offering American Sign Language Classes

LONGMEADOW — Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) announced its fall term of American Sign Language classes beginning Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the school’s Longmeadow campus, 32 Norway St. Classes will be held once a week on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and will run for 13 weeks through Dec. 12 (there is no class on Oct. 31).

WRSD will offer Levels 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3, and 4. All class levels begin on Sept. 12, and during the first class, WRSD teaching staff assess participants’ fluency to determine the best level placement. To register, visit www.wrsdeaf.org/american-sign-language-classes.

The Level 1A beginner course is for students who have no previous experience in sign language or finger spelling. Students will learn the manual alphabet and how to combine words to form simple sentences. The Level 1B course will focus on expanding basic vocabulary and conversation skills.

The Level 2A intermediate course will focus on further expanding vocabulary and conversation skills, while the 2B course is designed for students who possess a strong basic sign-language vocabulary and fluency in expressive and receptive communication.

The Level 3 course is designed for students who possess a strong sign-language vocabulary and fluency, to further build on expressive and receptive communication. The Level 4 course will emphasize receptive and expressive discourse with ASL users, focusing on non-manual signals, complex grammatical constructions, and idiomatic expressions.

Registration costs $150, and books are available for rental ($10) or purchase ($85). All WRSD sign language courses use the Signing Naturally curriculum. Certificates of completion will be issued based upon three or fewer absences. To learn more, visit www.wrsdeaf.org/american-sign-language-classes.

WRSD is also offering a free virtual sign-language course for parents and guardians of deaf and hard-of-hearing students on Wednesday evenings. Handout materials will also be available in Spanish. For more information, contact Erika Kaftan at ekaftan@wrsdeaf.org or (413) 567-0374.