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After the classes are over -- what then? How to keep learning ASL without formal instruction:
An ASL learner writes:
"I enjoy your online classes so much since I'm not able to take formal ASL classes. Do you have any suggestions for students who have taken approximately 6 semesters of ASL? I don't know exactly what to do now, since I don't have any formal high level classes near me."
After you've established a solid base of American Sign Language by taking ASL classes -- it is time for you to get your learning and education via interaction in the Deaf World.
Google "Deaf Events near me" and see what turns up. Start (or continue) watching Deaf Newscasts.
Do searches online for your state's "Association of the Deaf" and then go.
Seek out your state's RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) chapter.
Check "meetup (dot) com" for any "ASL meetups" in your area -- or pay the fee and set up your own ASL meetup and see who shows up.
Hire a Deaf ASL private tutor. Just do a search for "ASL Tutor" online.
Hire a local Deaf ASL instructor and offer small-group ASL classes in your home or some other location.
Check Facebook for any Deaf hobby groups such as "Deaf Hiking" groups, etc.
Search for "ASL socials near me."
Search for "Deaf Church near me."
If you can't find any ASL socials near you -- set up your own "ASL Social" and invite a Deaf person to come. Be clear with that person that he/she/they are the "anchor" (main draw) for the social and as such you will pay for their coffee or meal. The cost of a meal is cheap tuition considering the amount of sign language you will learn. Ask them to inform you ASAP if for some reason they can't show up to the social. Consider setting up an email news list for those who do show up to the social to let them know of any changes to the schedule, location, or other related information.
Check to see if there are any Deaf Education programs in your area and then apply to become a volunteer. Get fingerprinted and the whole bit. Do fund raisers for that program. Consider buying and donating a large screen monitor or projector or some other needed equipment to the program. Give with "no strings attached." Your money doesn't buy you anything other than warm fuzzies.
If you are amazing at fund-raising and/or organizing (or if you just have a lot of grit and persistence) consider forming a local Deaf-centric team and set up a Deaf Summer Camp, Deaf Space Camp, or some other "event" serving Deaf youth in your area.
Consider volunteering as a "Big Sister" / "Big Brother" for any local Deaf youth who might appreciate / benefit from an additional caring adult in their life. Do it "right." Go through an official organization. Do a search for "big brother big sister program near me."
Also see: Meeting and Interacting with Deaf people
Also see: Meeting People who are Deaf
Also see: Negotiating a Conversation with a Deaf person
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