Below you'll find a comprehensive listing of places to take ASL classes in the Atlanta area. If you know of other classes or resources not listed, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
College and University Programs
There are several college and university programs in the Atlanta area that offer American Sign Language. If you're interested in pursuing ASL to an advanced level, you should pay particular attention to Georgia Perimeter College, which offers associates and bachelors degrees in ASL and Sign Language Interpreting.
Clayton State University
What’s Offered: Continuing education program offers three beginner level ASL courses; classes meet for 8 sessions, 2 hours per session
- An associate’s degree in American Sign Language
- Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Sign Language Interpreting
- Certificate in Sign Language Interpreting for students already holding a bachelor’s degree.
- The interpreter education program is the only one of its kind in Georgia accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education. It is also the oldest interpreter education program in Georgia.
Location: Dunwoody, about 20-30 minutes outside Atlanta
Cost: Approximately $550 per 3-unit, semester-long course.
Georgia State University
What's Offered: College of Education offers basic and intermediate courses in ASL
Cost: N/A (Must apply for admission to Georgia State University and take courses as a matriculated student)
The University of Georgia, Center for Continuing Education
What's Offered: Basic and Advanced Certificates in American Sign Language for completing 2-4 levels of coursework, respectively. Each level consists of 20 hours of class time over a 10 week period
Location: Athens and Gwinnett (Lawrenceville) campuses
Cost: $199 per level
Churches and Other Programs
If a university program isn't right for you, there are a number of other options in the Atlanta area for people interested in pursuing beginner courses in American Sign Language.
Annistown Road Baptist Church
What’s Offered: A weekly beginner class in ASL; their web site is not always current, so you may want to contact the church directly for the most up-to-date class schedule
Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
What's Offered: 2-month community sign language class
Cost: $50 per person for families with Deaf children; $100 per person for other community members
Atlanta International Language Institutie
What’s Offered: Four beginner courses in ASL; Classes meet for 10 weeks, once a week for 2 hours
Community Bible Church
What's Offered: a beginner level "slow paced 8 week course that provides detailed instruction on when and how to use fingerspelling (sign language's ABC's)"; may sometimes offer more advanced classes
Cost: contact the church for details
Decatur Recreation Center
What’s Offered: ASL Level 1 and ASL Level 2 courses; Classes meet for 15 weeks, twice a week, 1.5 hours per session
Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church
What’s Offered: An ASL class for beginners is held on Wednesday nights, 7-8 pm
Location: McDonough Campus
Hull Baptist Church
What's Offered: A Wednesday evening sign language class
Cost: contact the church for details
ASL Meetup Groups
Look up an ASL meetup group in the Atlanta area. Attending these gatherings is a great way to meet a range of people interested in signing, including Deaf people, experienced signers, and people who are just starting out. Groups are always very welcoming, so don't hesitate to give one of these groups a try!
Other Topics of Interest
- Deaf Culture Facts That Might Surprise You
You might be surprised to learn some of these differences between Deaf and hearing culture.
- Can Deaf People Drive? - Fighting for a Basic Right
If Deaf people can't hear, how can they drive? Plus, find out which countries allow Deaf people to drive and which countries still deny Deaf people this fundamental right.
A Few Tips for Learning ASL
- ASL is increasing in popularity, so classes often fill up quickly. If you're thinking about taking a class, especially at a community college, be sure to sign up early to ensure a spot.
- A great way to improve your signing is by practicing in front of a mirror. You'll get a better sense of how your signs look to someone else, and it will help you identify which aspects of your signing you need to work on.
- Practice signing ASL vocabulary at least a little bit each day. Using flashcards is an effective way to incorporate practice into your daily routine, such as while waiting in line at the grocery store or riding the bus. You can get a great set of ASL flashcards from Amazon (see the link earlier on this page).
- Be patient--learning a new language takes time.
Good luck, and have fun!