RESOURCES: Books, movies, and more

Looking to learn more signs, practice fingerspelling, and explore Deaf culture? Below are some of the best resources out there.

These are all items that I've personally used and recommend for teaching and learning.  My students have loved them!

(Note that the links below are Amazon affiliate links*, which doesn't change the Amazon experience for you but helps support this website.)

Intro Vocab and grammar book

This is a beginner's introductory guide to ASL vocabulary and Non-Manual Signals (facial expression), with brief introductions to sentence structure, as well. Learn 800+ signs with clear images from fantastic Deaf teachers.

Fingerspelling rules and practice

 Fingerspelling and numbers are one of the biggest challenges for ASL learners. This workbook provides clear and useful instruction and practice exercises. It also includes informatino about how to sign various letters and numbers in real-world use.

Deaf Utopia

This memoir provides a first-hand account of growing up Deaf in a Deaf family.  This book is a celebration of Deaf Culture, providing a comprehensive yet introductory look into the Deaf culture and experience, as told by Nyle DiMarco -- actor, producer, and two-time reality show winner.

Books: Memoir, History, and Culture

Deaf Again
by Mark Drolsbaugh 

This memoir provides a first-hand account of Marks’ experience becoming Deaf and discovering what that means for him. This is required reading for all my ASL I students, because it really provides a comprehensive yet introductory look into the Deaf culture and experience.  Even better, they always love it! 

Deaf Utopia
by Nyle DiMarco 

NEW! "A heartfelt and inspiring memoir and celebration of Deaf culture by Nyle DiMarco, actor, producer, two-time reality show winner, and cultural icon of the international Deaf community."

True Biz
by Sara Novic 

NEW! "A 'tender, beautiful and radiantly outraged' (The New York Times Book Review) novel that follows a year of seismic romantic, political, and familial shifts for a teacher and her students at a boarding school for the Deaf."

When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf
By Harlan Lane

Interested in learning more about the origins of ASL in America? Love the folklore about Clerc and Gallaudet? Then this is for you.  It's dense but thorough -- you'll learn a ton in this extensive historical volume.

The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL

By Carolyn McCaskill, Ceil Lucas, Robert Bayley, and Joseph Hill

This book offers a socio-historical and linguistic study of Black ASL, documenting the stories and language of the African American Deaf community.  This also includes links to online supplemental video content that includes interviews with Black ASL users.

Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha’s Vineyard 

By Nora Ellen Groce

Groce traces the fascinating history of the use of sign language in the old Martha's Vineyard population, which had a remarkably high incidence of Deafness. 

Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture 

By Carol A. Padden and Tom L. Humphries

Signs and Voices: Deaf Culture, Identity, Language, and Arts 

Edited by by Kristin A. Lindgren, Doreen DeLuca, Donna Jo Napoli

(Advanced and SO interesting)

TRAIN GO SORRY: Inside a Deaf World 

By Leah Hager Cohen

Inside Deaf Culture
by Carol A. Padden 

Deaf American Poetry: An Anthology 

Edited by John Lee Clark

Textbooks and Workbooks

Learn American Sign Language: Everything You Need To Know To Start Signing - This is a beginner's introductory guide to ASL vocabulary and Non-Manual Signals (facial expression), with brief introductions to sentence structure, as well. Learn 800+ signs from fantastic Deaf teachers I know, admire, and respect.

Signing Naturally, Student Workbook - Units 1-6  -  My favorite beginner textbook / workbook combo for learning and practicing ASL with native signer demonstrations. Best used in conjunction with class practice and review. Comes with a DVD! 

Signing Naturally, Student Workbook - Units 7-12 - Once you've completed Units 1-6, move onwards and upwards to Units 7-12! 

Master ASL: Level 1  -  This textbook / DVD set is well suited to grade school and high school students, with excellent pictures and practice exercises. 

Master ASL: Fingerspelling, Numbers, and Glossing - Fingerspelling and numbers are one of the biggest challenges for ASL learners. This workbook provides clear and useful instruction and practice exercises.

Learning American Sign Language: Levels I and II - Less attractive design/user-friendly than other textbooks, but the content is top-notch!! Well-explained information about signs, culture, and especially grammar.

Linguistics of American Sign Language - This advanced textbook examines the complex but concrete structures that make up ASL.


American Sign Language Dictionary - Incredibly comprehensive dictionary! Often includes multiple variations of a sign if another version is common. Great illustrations. A solid resource to quickly search for a word.

Religious Signing: A Comprehensive Guide for All Faiths - Useful dictionary for all religious and spiritual terminology. It's not specific to one religion; you'll find a wide variety of religious vocabulary for all faiths.

The Joy of Signing - A perfect starter dictionary to establish a basic foundation of essential vocabulary.

Video: Movies, Television, and Documentary


See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary - This film takes you into the lives of four entertainers who happen to be Deaf. You'll watch an empathize with an actor, a comedian, a singer, and a drummer, all seeking success and encountering unique obstacles in an already tough industry.  

Through Deaf Eyes - If you want to learn about Deaf history and culture, this is exactly where you should start.  Perfect for a beginner, this documentary covers a wide range of topics pertaining to ASL, Deaf individuals, education, discrimination, and more.

Sound and Fury - Confused about all the fuss regarding Cochlear Implants?  This documentary took place in the early days of the technology and sheds light on some of the key controversies, as a family makes some tough decisions. 

Audism Unveiled - See through the eyes of Deaf people from varied social, racial, and educational backgrounds as they share their experiences with audism - that is, the notion that one's ability to hear and speak makes them superior. Learn about the damage this ideology can cause.


Children of a Lesser God  


The Hammer  

Mr. Holland’s Opus


Switched at Birth

Online VideoS and WEBSITES

I'm a big fan of the following resources! 

Video Lessons - excellent for beginners, and family-friendly! 

News and more (in ASL) - great for practicing receptive skills and seeing ASL in action. 

Dictionaries - when quickly looking for a specific word

Find local signers:  ​

Adorable and comfortable ASL-inspired apparel and accessories:

Interpreter education:

Fingerspelling got you stuck? Try Ashley Clark's (Signed with Heart) fingerspelling course

More on Instagram: The ASL App, Signed with Heart, ASL Elements, NY Deaf Theatre, Sign Language Center, Jeremy Lee Stone, The Daily Moth, Rings and Coffee, The Flipside Show, ASL SLAM, ASL Ballers, Dack Virnig, CM7 Deaf Film Camp, DPAN TV

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.  As always, I only share books, DVDs, and other products that I have read, watched, used with students, and truly believe in!!  The price is the same on Amazon regardless of whether you click through the above or not :) It's a way you can help support this website and YouTube channel. Additionally, a portion of any proceeds will be donated to a different Deaf organization each year.