Queer ASL focuses on introducing American Sign Language and Deaf culture to 2SLGBTQQIA+ learners and their allies. The courses have a voice-off policy in order to both be respectful of signing spaces and to immerse ourselves in a signing environment. People who complete Queer ASL classes are able to carry basic ASL conversations and have a better understanding about Deaf communities.
Our classes are only taught by Deaf queer & trans folk for various reasons. The biggest two would be; creating a (safer) working environment for Deaf queer & trans folk to be themselves and a classroom where queer & trans people are being centred and celebrated.
Queer ASL runs on donations only. Our suggested donation sliding scale ($100-$250 CAD per course) covers 8 sessions, all class materials, and weekly homework. However, nobody is denied access if they are unable to donate.
Our classes are fully online during the pandemic but once the pandemic is over - we plan to offer both in-person classes and online classes as online is more accessible for some people.
We currently use an online hybrid set up during the pandemic. Our courses include:
8 classes per course (once a week for 8 weeks).
ASL lesson videos for students to watch before their zoom class.
Weekly 1.5 hour long Zoom classes led by Deaf Queer instructors for practicing what we are learning.
Homework & vocabulary review videos to watch after each zoom class.
PDFs each week about Deaf culture, history, and Deaf people.
Our ASL Class Offerings
Queer ASL 101
This class is for people who have no previous (or very little) experience with ASL. This course covers learning the alphabet, fingerspelling, introductions discussing likes & dislikes, language upbringing, our identities, where we live, and much more. At our final class, students take turns telling an autobiography about themselves in ASL.
Queer ASL 102
This course is for people who finished 101 (or have similar amount of ASL knowledge). We cover discussing activities, ages & birthdays, living arrangements, family & relationships, transportation, work, and much more. At our final class, students share and discuss pictures their chosen families with each other.
Queer ASL 103
This class is for people who finished ASL 102 (or have similar amount of ASL knowledge). This course digs into the world of time grammar, topic+comment structure, directional verbs, space use, and much more. At the end, our students do an overall ASL 101-103 review through activities.
Queer ASL 104: Storytelling
These class is for people who have completed ASL 103 or (or similar). This course focuses on ASL storytelling which involves learning about ASL classifiers, mouth morphemes, role-shifting, and developing our storytelling skills. During the course, our students work on a children book of their choice. At the end of the course, students take turns signing their stories.
Queer ASL 104: Conversational ASL
This class is for people who have completed ASL 103 (or similar) and want to focus on deepening their conversational skills. Each week we have different themes and conversation prompts facilitated by an ASL host. Our conversational classes are smaller than our usual classes in order to develop a more intimate community for conversing. We use a combination of games, main room conversations, and breakout rooms for smaller group conversations. We offer two conversational ASL classes with different topics.
Conversational A: Getting acquainted, making plans, food & meals, media, travel, fashion, work & student life, and identity.
Conversational B: our interests & hobbies, giving directions, restaurants, family/history/heritage, North America geography (where have you visited?), re-decorating, fashion (seasonal clothing favourites), news & current events.
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