By Raven Heroux
If you’re living in the Boston area and want to learn American Sign Language, whether you know nothing or you think you know everything (which I highly doubt you do), you can find cheap classes at DEAF, Inc in Allston. They’re only $200, which is a glorious number compared to classes at Emerson or Boston University, which can range in the thousands.
No, DEAF, Inc classes do not count as college credits, but you are certified. The best part? No tests, papers, or grades! You’ll be given assignments, but if you skirt out of them, well, you’re just wasting your own money.
Another pro? All the teachers are Deaf, so you’re learning from a native. I’ve taken classes up to ASL 4 half in college and half at DEAF, Inc, all from Deaf teachers, which I believe is far more effective than learning from Hearing teachers. You can ONLY communicate through sign, which forces you to learn much faster.
Think you’re already an expert? Fingerspelling classes are given for any students who have passed ASL 4 and any professional interpreters. Fingerspelling is trickier than you think! Bus isn’t spelled B-U-S; it’s only B-S! And I’m not BSing you either.
If you or someone you know is a Late Deafened Adult or Hard of Hearing, they offer a different set of classes to immerse you into the language and culture. The spring courses are underway, but check back in a few weeks for the summer courses!