American Sign Language (ASL) University  

American Sign Language University is resource site for ASL students and teachers. Here you will find information and resources to help you learn ASL and improve your signing.

ASL Lessons:  |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26|27|28|29|30|

●  First 100 Signs
●  ASL Lessons
●  Lifeprint Library
●  Dictionary
●  Numbers
●  Jokes
●  Sign Language wallpaper
●  ASL Screensaver (PC)
●  Fingerspelling art!
●  Fingerspelling Practice Tool
●  Fingerspelling Learning Tool
●  Teaching ASL
●  Newsletter Archives
●  Why study ASL?
●  Encouragement
●  Word-Search Puzzles

●  About ASL University
●  Dr. Bill's Super Disk
●  Fingerspelling introduction
●  Fingerspelling Quizzes
●  Fingerspelling Chart: ABC's
●  Font Download
●  Interpreting
●  Archives
●  Permission
●  Workbook (Practice Sentences)
●  Peer Advice Student to Student)
●  ASL Terminology
●  Glossary
●  Self-Study Schedule
●  Bibliography

●  Excel Spreadsheets

Video: 100 Basic Signs:


●  The Level 3 videos are available in the ASLU Bookstore.

●  Dr. Bill's American Sign Language (ASL) iBook!

●  Subscribe to "" and get over 75 ASL study tools for your Android Smartphone. Visit for more info.

Hello ASL Heroes! 
I'm glad you are here!  You can learn ASL!  You've picked a great topic to be studying.  Signing is useful skill that can open up for you a new world of relationships and understanding. I've been teaching American Sign Language for over 20 years and I am passionate about it.  I'm Deaf/hh, my wife is d/Deaf, I hold a doctorate in Deaf Education / Deaf Studies. My day job is being a full-time tenured ASL Instructor at California State University (Sacramento). 

What you are learning here is important. Knowing sign language will enable you to meet and interact with a whole new group of people. It will also allow you to communicate with your baby many months earlier than the typical non-signing parent!  Learning to sign even improves your brain!  (Acquiring a second language is linked to neurological development and helps keep your mind alert and strong as you age.)

It is my goal to deliver a convenient, enjoyable, learning experience that goes beyond the basics and empowers you via a scientifically engineered approach and modern methodologies that save you time & effort while providing maximum results.

I designed this communication-focused curriculum for my own in-person college ASL classes and put it online to make it easy for my students to access.  I decided to open the material up to the world for free since there are many parents of Deaf children who NEED to learn how to sign but may live too far from a traditional classroom.  Now people have the opportunity to study from almost anywhere via mobile learning, but  I started this approach many years ago -- way before it became the new normal.  You can self-study for free (or take it as an actual course for $483, see here for more details). Many college students use this site as an easy way to support what they are learning in their local ASL classes.

ASL is a visual gestural language. That means it is a language that is expressed through the hands and face and is perceived through the eyes. It isn't just waving your hands in the air. If you furrow your eyebrows, tilt your head, glance in a certain direction, lean your body a certain way, puff your cheek, or any number of other "inflections" --you are adding or changing meaning in ASL. A "visual gestural" language carries just as much information as any spoken language. There is much more to learning American Sign Language than just memorizing signs. ASL has its own grammar, culture, history, terminology and other unique characteristics. It takes time and effort to become a "skilled signer." But you have to start somewhere if you are going to get anywhere--so dive in and enjoy.
- Dr. Bill

●  ASL Bookstore 

●  Course Advisor
●  Course Catalog
●  Syllabi 
●  Frequently Asked Questions 

●  Resources 
●  Looking for an ASL workshop presenter?
●  Contact 
●  Safari Bill
●  Dr. Bill "quick bio" 

"Longer Bio" 
●  Registration  (If you want to receive documentation)
●  Accreditation
●  Under Construction: New "SignSearch" tool!



From the studio:  Dr. Bill teaching one-on-one:

A mother (christy1246@______) writes:

Dr. Vicars,
I have a perfectly healthy 2 year old that refuses to talk. We have a vocabulary of 124 signs (most of what are on the 100 signs page). We constantly go through the "What's the sign for ..." and pull up the bookmark of your web page. If you actually have time to read this email can you answer a question...We need a bigger list of signs, would you recommend me going through the lessons or are you working on a "more signs" page of maybe 100 to 200 of the most commonly used signs? ...
-- Christy

A picture of a student bidding on a sign language textbook.Christy,
Hello :)
The main series of lessons in the ASL University Curriculum are based on research I did into what are the most common concepts used in everyday communication.  I compiled lists of concepts from concordance research based on a language database (corpus) of hundreds of thousands of language samples.  Then I took the concepts that appeared the most frequently and translated those concepts into their equivalent ASL counterparts and included them in the lessons moving from most frequently used to less frequently used.
Thus, going through the lessons sequentially starting with lesson 1 allows you to reach communicative competence in sign language very quickly--and it is based on second language acquisition research (mixed with a couple decades of real world ASL teaching experience).
- Dr. Bill

p.s. Another very real and important part of the Lifeprint ASL curriculum project is that of being able to use the "magic" of the internet to provide a high quality sign language curriculum to those who need it the most but are often least able to afford it. (See the Guyana link below.)

p.p.s. That cartoon sums up my philosophy regarding curriculum. Students shouldn't have to pay outrageous amounts of money just to learn sign language.  -Dr. Bill

You are welcome and encouraged to link to Lifeprint!  Just paste this code into your html:

Dr. Bill's Newsletter Archive:

ASLU Tee Shirt Logo ►

An ASL expedition to Guyana, South America.

Dr. Bill at a Deaf School during the ASL Safari.
"Safari Bill" (a.k.a. Dr. Bill)
at the David Rose School in Georgetown, Guyana
 "ASL Safari: Guyana" Train the Trainer workshop! 

A logo for the ASL fingerspelling website, ""

Need to practice your receptive fingerspelling?  You'll probably love Dr. Bill's fingerspelling practice site:    

Frequently Requested:
● How to say "I love you" in sign language, see: The ILY sign
● How to say "hello" in sign language, see: Hello
● Sign language for babies, see: Baby Sign Language

● Learn about the history of ASL, see: Sign Language History

● A list of sign language phrases, see: Sign Language Phrases
● Religious / Christian sign language: Religion
● Dr. Bill's sign language Dictionary, see: ASL Dictionary
● How to say "Thank you" in sign language, see: Thank You

● Being developed: Advanced Signs
● The "official" ASLU Facebook group is at:

William Vicars, Ed.D. doing the splits in his American sign language class.

Dear Katie,
Ha!  There you go!
I always enjoy doing what I can to support the ASL club. Grin.
Best wishes,
- Dr. Bill

Note: The "official" ASLU Facebook group is at:

ASL University () was established January 8, 1997 ( Copyright 1997 - 2015
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