What is Family Signs?
A program offered through the Educational Resource Center on Deafness at Texas School for the Deaf.
Family Signs offers free, online American Sign Language (ASL) or Signing Exact English (SEE) classes for parents/guardians of deaf and hard of hearing students in Texas. Our goal is to improve family communication.
Why is Family Signs popular?
- Flexible scheduling
- Classes available online
- Classes can be taken from home
- Up to four semesters of classes offered
I am so thankful for this service. I live 52 miles from the nearest deaf school. I drive my granddaughter every day. I have no access to deaf community - I had no sign before I started family signs. I tried to study the book and failed so badly. It is so nice. I love being able to talk to my granddaughter. The greatest gift I have ever received.
How Video Sign Language Classes Work
- Family Signs students and instructors are able to see and hear each other by using free videoconferencing applications such as Zoom or Skype.
- Applications run on standard home computers with webcams and high-speed internet connections to provide high quality video connections.
- Audio and texting capability supplement communication, as needed.
- Students and instructors may use videophones, iChat, or Facetime if both student and instructor have access to the same equipment.
- Family Signs classes are designed for one-on-one instruction or group classes (up to 3 students in a class).
- Family Signs has a limited number of instructors with Spanish language skills, as well as instructors with SEE skills.
- The Family Signs Coordinator is responsible for matching students and instructors, providing training for instructors, responding to questions/issues, and general management of the Family Signs program.
- Family Signs offers flexible scheduling for both students and instructors.
- Classes can be scheduled for day or evening during the week. Weekend classes are limited.
- The actual class schedule is mutually determined by the student and the instructor.
- Classes are 30 minutes and offered weekly.
- Family Signs operates on a Fall and Spring semester system (14 weeks/semester), and sometimes summer.
Equipment and High-Speed Internet
There is no cost to participate in the Family Signs program. However, students and instructors are expected to have computers with webcams and high-speed Internet. Email and web access is needed for communication between students, instructors, and the Family Signs Coordinator.
For more detailed information on the equipment and high-speed Internet connections, see the Student or Instructor information.