Can I Learn Sign Language Online?

People often search for answers to the following questions:

Can I learn sign language online? Are there sign language classes online? Are there one-on-one ASL lessons online? How do I learn sign language online?

When it comes to learning sign language, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

Who Are You Learning From?

Keep in mind that ANYONE can post on social media. This means that someone can know just a few signs and post a video that markets themselves as an expert. In addition, when you have someone posting a video of themselves signing, you don't know if what they are signing is accurate. There are many videos on YouTube and TikTok of people signing that are not accurate American Sign Language.

They may have a ton of followers, but may not be representing the language correctly. It is important to research who they are. What are their credentials? Why are they posting videos? Is ASL their native language or did they take a few classes? Are they using ASL as a way to gain followers and attention? ASL is not a talent — it is a language.

What Organization Do They Work For?

There are many tutoring companies that are adding sign language as an option. Make sure you research companies and find out how they hire their tutors. If they allow tutors to sign up with their company without thorough background checks, referrals from people in the Deaf community, interviews, etc. this means that ANYONE can sign up with their company and claim to be an ASL tutor. Not only does this mean you could hire a tutor who is not qualified, but it also means you could hire someone who has no connection to the Deaf community.

Again, ASL is not a fun talent that people can just learn and then start to tutor other people. If someone is a hearing tutor, how do they plan to help connect you with the Deaf community? If their goal is to be a bridge between you and the Deaf community and help you become more comfortable so you can start working with a Deaf tutor or teacher, great! If their goal is just to tutor you and make money, be careful.

Make sure you are learning from a credible source. One of the most important things you can do is research the person and see if they have a legitimate background.

Some questions to ask yourself:

Are they a D/deaf person who is sharing their language or are they a hearing person who is looking for attention?

Are they a qualified hearing person who is posting an educational video?

Why are they posting the video? Are they just looking for followers?

What is their background? Do they have training or education?

When looking for people to follow on social media, look for D/deaf people who are sharing their language.

Where Can I Learn ASL for Free?

We recommend www.lifeprint.com as a resource for learning sign language for free online.