The 2022 mini “better than nothing” ASL Immersion Weekend!

The mini “better than nothing” ASL Immersion Weekend will be a four hour Zoom online event on Saturday, September 17th, 2022.  The time frame is 10:00 am to 2:30 pm (it includes a 30 minute lunch break from 12 pm to 12:30 pm.  This year’s presenter will be Molly O’Hara.  She will be presenting the following workshop:

“ASL Fingerwording”

ASL-language learners often struggle to understand native fingerspelling. Words typically are not articulated one letter at a time. Also, not every fingerspelled word is a lexicalized sign. For example, the English word ‘clique’ is borrowed as ‘CL-I-QUE’ and is not lexicalized. Although the English letters are accounted for, the manual rhythm doesn’t correspond to the vocal rhythm. It is a fact that a majority of fingerspelled words are manually articulated differently from their spoken English equivalents; they are neither spelled out letter by letter nor are they lexicalized.

     English speakers tend to rely on how a word sounds in English in order to understand fingerspelling. However, the way English words are pronounced are often not the way ASL fingerspells them. English speakers lipread according to how they hear while ASL signers wordspell according to how they see. Learning how to lipread fingerwording from a visual perspective helps to see the manual word successfully.

     This session explores four main manual motions that control the syllabic cadence of fingerspelled words. Additionally, there are three top rules in the manual phonics of fingerspelling. Finally, a discussion of how the mouth is shaped to fit manual “sounds” rounds out the training.

For more information, download the flyer by clicking this link.  

This event is open to all and registration is now OPEN.  To register click this link
The link also explains how to pay for the event.

The cost for this 4 hour event is $40.00.  The workshop will be presented in ASL without voice interpretation (remember, it’s a mini “better than nothing” ASL Immersion Weekend!)  Molly will present and sign the workshops at her natural signing pace. 

If you have any questions please email or call.

Joe Sapienza, coordinator

About the presenter: 
Molly O’Hara

Molly O’Hara, deaf from birth, excels in the fields of linguistics, curriculum development, interpreter training, and second-language learning. She builds online courses and has developed collegiate coursework for bicultural education and ASL instruction. “The Non-Manual Alphabet of American Signed Language” is projected to be released in 2023. Molly has published a bilingual handbook, “American Sign Language: A Grammar Reference Guide” and a video course, “ASL Fingerwording: The Art & Structure of Fingerspelling Words.” She has also co-authored a white paper, “English-to-ASL Translation Standards” for high-stakes K-12 standardized testing. Molly’s deaf heritage spans five generations. She is BEI Advanced certified and currently resides in the Kansas City area.

The mini “better than nothing” ASL Immersion Weekend is approved for Missouri and RID CEUs.  This event offers .4 CEUs in Professional Studies of which .2 CEUs will apply to RID’s PPO requirements.

Click here to Register

2020 Presenter

Sandy Rae Scott has taught at Utah Schools for the Deaf, Ogden Campus, as an ASL/English Specialist for five years.  Prior to her relocation to Utah, Sandy taught at three different residential schools of the Deaf in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and at a public high school in Seattle, Washington. Sandy has served as an ASL instructor at the University of Virginia, Seattle Central Community College and Gallaudet University. In addition to her teaching job, Sandy has been passionately contributing her bilingual lessons to the ASL/English Enrichment page on Facebook which she implemented in 2014 and 2017. Her broad experience in a variety of diverse settings has given her professional and personal experience creating synergistic relationships that build and elevate the Deaf community. She currently resides in Ogden, UT with her husband.  Her leisure activities include vintage antique shopping, exploring small towns and admiring natural wonders.

Click here to Register
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Weekend Info

About the Weekend: WHERE

The Weekend is held at the Babler State Park’s Outdoor Education Center.  It is a quiet, rustic area that is perfect for our group to be isolated from others using their voice so that participants may focus on visual communication mode.  Its not “fancy”, but it fits perfectly with our needs. The address is as follows:

The Outdoor Education Center
Babler State Park
800 Guy Park Drive
Wildwood, Missouri  63005-6134

About the Weekend: WHEN

The 2020 Weekend begins at 4:30 pm on Friday, April 17th and ends at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 19th

About the Weekend: WHO

The ASL Immersion Weekend is open to anyone 18 years of age and older.  Regardless of your signing skill, you are welcome at this event!  Please note that the presenter will present and teach at  their normal signing rate and speed. Any questions or clarification on this, please call me at 636-227-2277

About the Weekend: COST

The cost for the 2020 ASL Immersion Weekend is $110.00 per participant. This cost covers for:

    • At least 12 hours of instruction time (2 hours on Friday, 8 hours on Saturday, and 2 hours on Sunday)

    • 6 meals (dinner on Friday, breakfast lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday)

  • On-site lodging in a camp cabin for Friday and Saturday night. Each cabin holds 12+ people and has an open-area, shared dormitory concept.  Each of the six inner partitions accommodates two people and opens into the center of the cabin. They are heated and, yes, there is hot running water!


Once you have registered and your money received, you will be sent a Welcome Letter via the email address you’ve provided.  This will include map links, informational page (what to bring, not bring, etc.) and any last minute details.  The Welcome Letters will be emailed as soon as possible, but no later than one week before the Weekend.

This program (The ASL Immersion Weekend) has applied for 1.2 CEUs from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) in the Content Area of Professional Studies and will have an Instructional Level of Advanced.

This program (The ASL Immersion Weekend) has applied for 1.2 CEUs from the Missouri Certification Maintenance Program.

Most states’ Certification Maintenance Programs accept CEUs approved by the RID. Contact your states’ Board or Licensing Agency for verification.

Click here to Register
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Why ASL Weekend?

The ASL Immersion Weekend is an ongoing yearly workshop and nonverbal experience going on its 25th year.  It’s a quiet, no-frills, casual event that brings people of varying skill levels, backgrounds and experiences together to learn and share aspects of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture.

The ASL Immersion Weekend is open to anyone interested in American Sign Language:

  • Interpreters
  • Students of Interpreter Training Programs
  • Students of sign language classes
  • Families and friends of D/deaf or hard of hearing individuals
  • Special education teachers
  • D/deaf or hard of hearing individuals

The ASL Immersion Weekend consists of 12 hours of workshop time inside of a non-vocal Immersion Weekend! The workshop, as well as your interaction with other participants throughout the weekend, will offer plenty of opportunities to improve your receptive and expressive skills in a relaxing retreat environment. Through this exposure, participants will also gain a deeper understanding of Deaf Culture and the Deaf community’s language, ASL  The only requirement is an open mind and an understanding that you will learn something if only you allow it!

The ASL Immersion Weekend will be conducted without vocal communication. Participants will communicate solely through sign language and visual means.

Check out these video testimonials from past Weekenders!

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