ASL classes in NYC?
September 20, 2008 12:32 AM   Subscribe

Where can I take cheap (preferably free!) American Sign Language courses in NYC?

I took a beginning ASL course in college and unfortunately was unable to continue taking them while at school. I am still in love with the language, but have sadly forgotten so much of it from not being able to practice... I would like to take classes, but have had a really hard time finding a free (or even cheap) course in the NYC area. Any suggestions?

This is my first question, but I've been reading and enjoying this community for a long time now. Thank you!
posted by interweber to Education (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know how helpful this will be.

My mother is actually an ASL teacher, has been for many years now, and she is deaf. However, she teaches at adult school and community college... in North Jersey. So that may be too far a distance to travel from the city for some beginner's ASL.

The flip side of that is a class like my mother's (or at other adult schools in Jersey) is going to be cheaper. Not free, but significantly cheaper than some prominent ASL classes in New York. And of course most colleges have some intro level ASL courses, so maybe you can find something decent with in-state costs, although I'm unfamiliar with anything in particular.

I emailed my mom about this though and asked her if she has any recommendations, so I'll pass that along when she responds.
posted by lullaby at 10:36 AM on September 20, 2008

Sorry, my followup isn't great here--
My mother suggested the Sign Language Center that I linked to above. They're apparently quite good, and she knows someone that teaches there, but they are evidently pretty expensive. She also reiterated a recommendation to look at college courses, and said she doesn't know of any free classes anywhere.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

The cheaper method could be to buy one of the ASL textbooks and check out some different websites that shows how many signs are done. That's all I can think of.
posted by lullaby at 8:08 AM on September 21, 2008

Thank you so much for asking for me. I've done a ton of online research and basically found the same stuff. Why are there no free (or even cheap!) classes! I'm pretty surprised. Just curious, where does your mother work in New Jersey? Perhaps one day I'll be able to save up enough to take the Sign Language Center class...

Thanks again.
posted by interweber at 1:30 PM on September 21, 2008

There just aren't that many options out there, far as I can tell. Particularly for people just pursuing ASL on the side (rather than trying to become an interpreter, for example). Less options with less teachers means higher prices. The only cheap/free classes I've ever heard of are offered to people who are losing their hearing and need to learn.

In the interest of not making a totally direct path between my mefi name and my mother's, mind if I memail you the answer to that? (you disabled the option)
posted by lullaby at 2:15 PM on September 21, 2008

That would be great, thanks. I'll figure out how to unblock that. haha.
posted by interweber at 5:32 PM on September 21, 2008

Long ago I took classes at the American Sign Language Institute:

242 W 27th St
New York, NY 10001

I'm not sure if they are still there or if they have moved/closed/renamed. They were great classes, but not free (but not too expensive).

A bit outside of the city is the NY School for the Deaf in White Plains. Not sure on the pricing, but they might be able to point you somewhere.
posted by mikepop at 6:08 AM on September 22, 2008

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