Blog Archives

Catch the Breeze at Gallaudet University

Come out and Catch the Breeze at Gallaudet! DC’s Professional Ultimate team plays throughout the Spring and early Summer at Gallaudet University on Saturday evenings at 6:30pm and Sunday afternoons at 1:30pm! Bring the kids 1.5 hours early for a free youth clinic while you enjoy food, drinks including craft beer on tap, and the sounds of a live local Indie band. Then cheer on the Breeze to victory over our rivals from as close as Philadelphia or as far away as Toronto and Montréal, Canada. Tickets $10 advance / $12.50 day of game. The events are Free for all kids 12 & Under.

Home Schedule (gates open 90 min early)
Sat 4/23 6:30pm vs Toronto
Sat 5/7 6:30pm vs New York
Sun 5/22 1:30pm vs Montréal
Sat 6/4 6:30pm vs Toronto
Sat 6/11 6:30pm vs New York
Sat 6/25 6:30pm vs Philadelphia
Playoffs: July 16 or July 23


Visual Music from My Soundless Mind

“Visual Music from My Soundless Mind”
A final art retrospective from retiring Gallaudet art professor, Dr. Paul Johnston

Dr. Paul Johnston, art professor
Gallaudet University students, faculty, and staff

On the eve of his spring retirement, Dr. Paul Johnston will debut 52 new pieces of art in a show, “Visual Music from My Soundless Mind.”

The abstract paintings in this exhibition symbolize Dr. Johnston’s visual interpretation of the power of music. And much as a composer weaves together melodies, rhythms and harmonies, these works come together in an orchestral performance that resonates with emotional intensity.

Linda K. Jordan Gallery
Washburn Arts Building

Washburn is located at C2 on the attached campus map. Parking is available in the garage on 6th Street, north of Florida Avenue (B1 on the map).

Opening reception
Thursday, February 18, 2016
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The show runs from Monday, February 15 to Friday, March 4, 2016.

For 32 years Dr. Johnston has taught at Gallaudet and has been a member of the art department since 1988. He also was a founding member of De’VIA (an acronym for Deaf View Image Art). This group of artists and scholars collaborated on how to discuss and generate art based on deaf experiences. In an experimental design class at Penn State, Dr. Johnston taught the same concept to hearing students empowering them to translate their hearing access into art.

Dr. Johnston is a frequent lecturer, exhibition juror, moderator, and guest artist at venues in the U.S. and Europe. In 2011 he was artist in residence at Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy.

Expressive in many mediums, Dr. Johnston was the first person to receive a bachelor of fine arts in furniture design and woodworking from the School for American Craftsman at Rochester Institute of Technology. He holds a master’s and doctoral degree in art education with Phi Delta Kappa honors from Penn State University.

His visual artistry is not confined to canvas. As an actor, Dr. Johnston was a company member of the National Theatre of the Deaf, and faculty member of the Division of Performing Arts at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was an original designer of Signing Mime-a performing company-where he wrote and directed two experimental plays. He has taught and led workshops and lectures on ASL poetry, creative signing and visual gestural communication.

Kaitlin Luna, Coordinator of Media and Public Relations
(202) 448-7106 voice
(202) 250-2973 videophone
(585) 507-1705 mobile/text

Celebrate 50 Years of the first ASL Linguistics Text


Where Can I Learn ASL?

Where Can I Learn ASL? That is a question often here around our neighborhood. Trinidad is multi-lingual neighborhood with English and American Sign Language (ASL) as two dominant primary languages. Our proximity to Gallaudet University means deaf and hearing neighbors often have need to communicate in ASL, the predominant sign language used in North America and Canada.

For those of us that are new to ASL, there are many ways to learn and many sources for resource material. You can start by signing with neighbors to learn basic signs or check ASL instruction books out of the library. The DC Public Library has a list of available resources on their website. (add link A few online programs, apps, and courses a noted below. If you know of other good sources for ASL instruction or practice, please let us know at

Online Programs/Dictionaries

American Sign Language University (ASL University) is an online American Sign Language curriculum resource center that provides many free self-study materials, lessons, and information. They also have fee-based instructor-guided courses. Anyone wishing to do so may use the online course material at for personal study. The site contains more than 30 courses plus practice quizzes and games.

Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high-resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada. A guest may browse the site to find signs for words, organized by letter, but will have limited access to resources on the site unless joining and payment of a monthly or annual fee.

ASL Deafined is a website for both deaf and hearing. They have as part of their mission to provide a platform for teaching and encouraging the community-at-large to learn and utilize the basic skills of ASL. The subscription based website has ASL video instruction. Rates are from $10 per month to $200 per year.

ASL Pro has free reference and learning tools available to the public. These include a video dictionary, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies. There is also content that can be accessed through membership.

There are many other programs and more to come in the future. For example, Gallaudet University has received a grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to develop ASL Connect, an on-line learning resource. You can learn more about that on the GU website at

There are an abundance of YouTube videos available but be careful that any videos you use to learn ASL words or phrases were created by someone certified in ASL instruction.

There’s an App For That

There are many apps available for free or purchase that teach ASL. Two that have been used by TNA members are highlighted here.

  • The ASL App was created by Deaf people to introduce and teach conversational ASL to anyone interested in learning without enrolling in a class. It’s called “ASL for the People” because this is for anybody including but not limited to family, friends, co-workers, or your average Joes who want to learn ASL. The app is free to download and includes a few basic lessons with additional in-app purchases.
  • Marlee Signs is another app that teaches fundamentals (alphabet and basic vocabulary) with ability to practice at your own pace. The download is free and includes a few lessons with additional in-app purchases available.


Gallaudet University (GU): GU is the world’s only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. GU offers degree and non-degree courses, professional studies, and continuing education credit courses. To enroll in ASL classes you should first register and be accepted as a student.

Visit the GU website at for general information or the Center for Continuing Studies ASL pages at for specifics on ASL class options. You can also email with questions. Information on fees can be found at

Graduate School USA: Formerly the USDA Graduate School, Graduate School USA is a private non-profit educational institution that has evening and weekend classes towards certificate programs or continuing education credits. They have beginning and intermediate ASL courses that run approximately $320 per semester. Visit the website at or call (888) 744-4723 for additional information.

Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES): KDES is on Gallaudet University campus, just past the West Virginia Avenue entrance. The school offers a free ASL course geared towards hearing parents and family members of deaf students. When the class is not full, they extend places in the weekly class to the general community. Following the school calendar there are two semesters (roughly September to December and February to May with registration the week or two before sessions begin) and a long summer break. Typically the classes are on Wednesday evening (6 pm – 8 pm) or Saturday morning (10 am – noon). KDES classes are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The contact for recent classes has been Tara Miles who can be reached by e-mail at or by office phone at (202) 448-7318 (V) or (202) 250-2211 (VP).

DC Public Library – MLK Memorial Library Branch: DCPL typically holds a beginners’ level class, which covers 100+ ASL vocabulary words and rules of grammar, on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm. The class is on hiatus for the summer months and will restart in the fall (pending identification of an instructor). The class is free and open to the public and there is no need to register. Any level signer is welcome to join the class, review what you know, learn new signs, and practice conversation. To learn more or check into availability, you can contact the MLK library branch by e-mail at or call (202) 727-2142.

Tutors are also available in the community and from the student population. You can ask deaf members of the community to identify someone that may have time available to teach you at your own pace.


There are some local gatherings or regular events where you can learn or practice ASL.

  • Vendetta at 1212 H St NE hosts ASL Trivia on the second and fourth Monday each month. They have a Facebook page with more information.
  • During the Capital Fringe Festival, Dog and Pony DC has been holding four back-to-back 15-minute sessions to teach the Basics, the Theater, The Bar, and the Wild Card. These are free lessons so check the Capital Fringe website for show times and stop in the outdoor seating area where the lessons are held. We hope to see more of Dog and Pony DC working with us in the future.
  • The Argonaut at 1433 H St NE has ASL poker night the first Saturday each month at 8 pm. Join them upstairs for poker games and conversation.
  • Search the Meet Up website for current information on discussion groups or ASL-related events. Current listings include an ASL Bridge Meet Up for students, teachers, and fluent signers. The group is based in Silver Spring and meets every two weeks on Thursdays. See the website for information and membership. Sign and Dine in Crystal City Shops meeting the second and fourth Saturdays for lunch and other events are held in Wheaton, Rockville and Ballston.
  • Busboys and Poets has an ASL Open Mic Night the last Friday of each month at the 1025 5th St NW location from 11 pm to 1 am. Tickets are $5.
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