Sign Smith ASL is an animated tutorial and phrase book for American Sign Language (ASL) from VDCom3D.
Our ASL team of 4 Deaf professionals has created these accurate signs based on their native language experiences. VDCom3D continues to research the needs of the Deaf community and provide tools for learning and accessibility.
The VDCom3D company have also created several programs for ASL reference using animated characters, but unfortunately these are only available for Windows.
As with iSign which we reviewed previously, a program like this can never replace classes with a live instructor. It can teach you individual words but not the grammar and syntax of ASL, which is very different from English grammar and syntax. And, of course, it can't teach you about Deaf culture and history - which is very important to understand when learning any language. But for those who are taking classes, or wish to augment existing knowledge of ASL, it's a great resource.
The program may also be of use to supporters and educators of people who use Makaton, Signed English/Signed Exact English (SEE), Pigeon Signed English (PSE)/Contact sign, Simultaneous Communication (SinCom), and all other communication methods which utilise ASL signs. These modified communication methods are often used by children with developmental delays, people with autism, and those with intellectual impairments as well as deaf and hearing impaired people. Parents teaching approximate ASL gestures for Baby Sign may also be interested in the program.
Three versions of the Sign Smith ASL program are available, from a free version which contains 20 signs to a 1200 sign version which costs US$29.99 at the time of writing this.
Website: Sign Smith ASL
- Ricky Buchanan