This guide will help you find Deaf and signing events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Each resource contains a link to the most recent calendar of events. If you know of any additional resources, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency (DCARA)
DCARA is one of the best sources of information on Deaf events in the Bay Area, and the group hosts large, unique events throughout the year. For example, on December 19, 2013, DCARA hosted a festive Holiday Potluck Party. On February 1, 2014, they'll hold a Deaf Community Night with an awards ceremony to celebrate the Deaf community in the Bay Area. They also host a series of "Sign and Dine" events at the Deaf Community Center in San Leandro, where signers of all levels play games using ASL and eat snacks. Sign and Dines for 2014 are coming up on February 14, April 11, and June 13--check their web site for more details. DCARA's web site also lists other Bay Area Deaf events, including ASL and coffee socials for cities throughout the Bay Area.
California School for the Deaf
The California School for the Deaf in Fremont hosts events throughout the year, including signed theater performances, ASL Storytelling, and campus tours. The school’s theater group is highly acclaimed, and you don’t have to be fluent in signing to enjoy their shows. Shows are easy to follow along, and attending them is a great way to practice your receptive skills if you’re still learning ASL. In May 2013, the theater group performed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
Deaf Bay Area
Deaf Bay Area on facebook lists upcoming deaf events. Recent events have included a Personal Wellness Symposium in ASL and a Freedom Train to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday. Among the events they're currently promoting is the next Deaf Women United Conference, which will take place in Berkeley from July13-19, 2015.
SF Gate offers a calendar of upcoming "San Francisco Deaf events," though the calendar includes events as far as Santa Cruz and Sacramento.
DeafNation Expos are massive events featuring exhibitions and entertainment by and for Deaf people. Each year, DeafNation hosts 10-15 expos across the United States. For the past several years, DeafNation has hosted an expo in Pleasanton, California in October. Check their web site for the most up-to-date schedule of expos across the U.S.
San Francisco Recreation and Parks ASL Cafe
San Francisco Recreation and Parks ASL Cafe is an event that happens every Thursday in San Francisco at the Mission Playground (19th & Valencia) from 6:30-9:00pm. This free event bridges the hearing and deaf communities in a mutually beneficial environment nurturing socialization and natural interactions. Activities include games, movie night, cooking and socialization. (Thanks to Peter DeHaas for sharing this information in the comments section.)
Similar to the ASL socials listed on the DCARA web site, meeetup.com also lists several ASL meetup groups in the Bay Area. ASL meetups are a great way to get extra practice with Deaf people and other hearing people who are learning ASL.
Other Topics of Interest
- American Sign Language Classes in the SF Bay Area
Full list of schools by type of curriculum offered, including interpreter training and other degree programs.
- 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.
- Deaf Culture Facts That Might Surprise You
You might be surprised to learn some of these differences between Deaf and hearing culture.
Gail Dolson on March 01, 2019:
Looking for ASL/Deaf Events in Marin County- anyone know of some?
Peter DeHaas on August 25, 2015:
San Francisco Recreation and Parks ASL Cafe is an event that happens EVERY Thursday in San Francisco at the Mission Playground (19th & Valencia) from 6:30-9:00pm. This FREE event bridges the hearing and deaf communities in a mutually beneficial environment nurturing socialization and natural interactions. Activities include; games, movie night, cooking and socialization. Please re-add to your list of resources and feel free to contact organizer Peter DeHaas with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org