2017 Educational Interpreter Summer Institute: Fingerspelling: Students’ Link to Literacy

PaTTAN - Harrisburg Google Maps

Session Dates

Thursday July 06, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday July 07, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Imagine going to the doctor, and instead of telling you what your diagnosis was, they just showed you a picture of it. How would you tell a friend about your diagnosis? You could draw a doodle for them, but could you have a good conversation? In this situation, there isn’t enough information to understand our visit to the doctor and we are left with no way to find out more. Unfortunately, that is the position students who are deaf or hard of hearing are facing in their education because we’re not fingerspelling enough. In this workshop, participants will discuss how children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn fingerspelling and how we can improve our work and their education. Did you know that there are different styles of fingerspelling? We will learn about those styles, when and where to use them. Then we will use self-analysis tools to produce clear and accurate fingerspelling. But that’s not all! We will also apply strategies for using fingerspelling like sandwiching, linking, distancing and chaining (did you even know that was a thing?) With this knowledge, you can give students the ability to succeed.


  1. Recognize importance of fingerspelling in D/HH education
  2. Understand the development process of fingerspelling acquisition in Deaf children.
  3. Explore personal barriers to effective fingerspelling
  4. Define three types of fingerspelling: Careful, Rapid, and Lexicalized
  5. Implement strategies to expand ASL lexicon through fingerspelling strategies like Sandwiching, Chaining, Distancing, Framing.
  6. Analyze patterns displayed in their fingerspelling work through a prescriptive method of peer dialogue to develop careful fingerspelling.

Target Audience

PA Educational Interpreters working in the K-12 setting, PA Teachers of students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and must have advanced skills in ASL as much of the two days will be presented in ASL only.

Individuals attending this course must arrive on time and stay the duration of the course in order to receive Act 48 Professional Education hours. Requests for exceptions are to be brought to the attention of the individual´s Superintendent or IU Director prior to the course.

Topics Covered: Educational Interpreters

Event Info

Event Type:


Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
No credit


Bridget Sabatke and Leonard Granda

Event Contact:


Kristi Simpson


Sue Ann Houser