Sign with Robert: Academic Signs

888295392556. ea vol: 88 min. Dist. by Tugg Edu. $59.99. Set $495. Streaming $149, set: $799. 2015.
RedReviewStarGr 4 Up—This excellent series goes far beyond the usual introductions to American Sign Language (ASL) to create value for multiple audiences. Deaf actor and educator Robert DeMayo brings his native ASL fluency to the demonstrations of signs and discussion of culture, and the series features a clean visual style that keeps the focus on the language. The vocabulary segments go into far greater depth than most ASL materials, making the series valuable to advanced signers and interpreters as well as beginners. For example, the section on animals includes the usual suspects, such as "cow," "cat," and "dog" and also "ostrich," "camel," and "hyena." Cultural and linguistic segments are clear and accessible—most notably a rare and incredibly detailed discussion of ASL idioms. Throughout, material is organized for immediate usefulness; for example, Business includes vocabulary for the workplace and meeting procedures, along with valuable information on employment and the use of the Video Relay Service in the Deaf community. Individual discs and episodes are also available, reflecting how carefully the segments have been tailored for various needs. Where needed, voiceover and open captions make the episodes completely accessible to viewers of all signing abilities.
VERDICT A must-have resource that meets the needs of multiple audiences.

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