A Message from Tom Holcomb

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/421315107″ el_width=”30″ align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]English Version:

Hello to all you ASL teachers, Deaf culture teachers, and teachers of interpreting.

I hope you’ve all survived this semester and are wrapping up your work successfully, even though you’ve had to do it amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under stay at home orders you’ve had to teach classes without the usual resources. It’s affected myself and my teaching, too.  But we got through it!

One big challenge I faced was no longer being able to encourage my students to attend Deaf community events, since they were all canceled.  Students were suddenly stuck with no way to get around this problem. I am sure you all experienced the same thing.  It’s really been something!

Fortunately, I had the “A Sign of Respect” curriculum ready to use.  It’s so great because it illustrates several Deaf community events including events at Deaf clubs, theater events, Starbucks meet-ups among many others.  The lessons show hearing students how to appropriately participate in these events.  So even though students are stuck at home and unable to attend Deaf events in person, they can view the videos and do the readings and worksheets included in this comprehensive curriculum. 

It really saved my students this semester!

I encourage you to check out this curriculum.  As you know, this fall, it’s looking like campuses will be closed again.  You may find that this curriculum will be a great help to you in this situation, just as it has been for me. 


“A Sign of Respect” consists of three parts:  Part One is for beginning students who are learning ASL and learning about the Deaf community for the first time.  Students are exposed to lots of examples of Deaf community events such as club events and other Deaf gatherings; Part Two is for more advanced students, those in their third or fourth semester sign language classes.  They may already have some conversational skills and want to pursue friendships with Deaf people.  Several situations are portrayed, such as one in a restaurant where a group of friends, all Deaf except for the one hearing person, are ordering from the hearing server. Students need to think through the right behavior in that situation.  Should they interpret for the server, or should they act Deaf and write down their order, or do something else?  Another situation involves driving with Deaf people.  How does a new hearing signer learn how to communicate appropriately in a moving vehicle?  These are just a few of the many scenes in the program.  Part Three is new and will be released this fall.  This material is geared toward interpreting students who are soon to graduate.  Several situations are shown, for example, a recent interpreting graduate finding herself interpreting for a lecture that may be above her skill level, or struggling to understand a Deaf patient at a medical appointment, among many others.  The scenes are designed to support these students and help them feel better prepared for doing their best in the Deaf community.

With this curriculum, teachers have options.  You could decide to have your students do every single part of the material on their own.  There are tracking tools built into the online curriculum that allow you to see and keep track of students’ progress.  On the other hand, some teachers prefer to select certain parts of the curriculum, rather than the entire thing, and assign those specific parts.  Some teachers like to use the videos and exercises during class for classroom discussion, while others prefer to have students view the material outside of class.  The online curriculum is entirely self-contained and has the flexibility to be used any way you like, from completely independently by the students to fully supervised by the instructor.

The curriculum contains a wealth of videos, readings and worksheets, all ready to use with no extra preparation required.

Curious about the cost?  At $24.95, it’s a real bargain considering there three semesters’ worth of material included.  It comes down to around $8.50 per semester which is really inexpensive!  That’s less than $9.00 per semester a student would have to pay for this wealth of material.

Please contact Treehouse Video for more information or if you have any questions about the program or to view samples of the videos and worksheets included in the program.

I wish you the best of luck this fall, as it looks like we’ll all be teaching from home again.  Sigh.  Take care![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]