Trade ASL Experience for Computer Programming


New Member

I am a retired C.S. prof and author of books for programmers. I am also learning ASL, partly because I had a Deaf aunt (grandmother's sister) when I was a child and partially because I myself have become hard of hearing.

If you are Deaf and want to learn to program, then consider trading ASL tutoring for tutoring in Javascript. (I can teach other languages but Javascript is what I am writing about at the moment.)

You can see my credentials at my web site ( What I want from you is that you are really fluent in ASL, that you belong to or are closely associated with the Deaf culture, that you can meet me once or twice a week someplace in Cambridge, MA, and that you have a genuine interest in learning to program.

(Or if you have a genuine interest in math and want to learn the esoteric programming language Haskell that would be fine with me too. Haskell is a dialect of math and my Ph.D. was actually obtained in math. However, I definitely do not want to tutor math. I switched to Computer Science because it interests me far more. Math interests me as a language only.)

Let me apologize in advance for insisting that you meet all my requirements. This will only work out if what we have to offer is of value to each other.

Because of teaching experience I had in the Middle East I know how to teach when shared language skills are deficient.

Currently I am capable of a stop-and-go conversation in ASL with lots of slow fingerspelling. I learned to fingerspell at the same time I learned to spell but have had almost no practice since then. I learned no ASL as a child. My Deaf aunt died a half century ago. I am ashamed to say that was before anybody else in my family realized that ASL was a language.

Wow! It's a gamble finding somebody who lives near your house, is Deaf and fluent in ASL and truly interested in programming. I wish you good luck and, if you ever want to learn some Italian... :)


Well-Known Member
The Boston area is heavy-laden with d/Deaf people, so finding an ASL tutor may not be as difficult as you think, Napo. Cambridge is just outside Boston. And there are a lot of tech schools there so somebody may be interested in the trade for programming. But I'm not sure this site is the right place as there's only a handful of people here from that area. I think the OP's best bet is to find the Boston deaf club or DNO (deaf night out) where he would run across a lot of deafies there.


If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
welcome! that's a really nice bartering! a very good deal! I hope you find someone soon.


Active Member
What I suggest for you is to go into the Deaf Class so that you can learn how to fingerspell and ASL including learning about Deaf Culture (Deaf Perspective). Without Deaf Culture, you would not be able to understand about deafness and how to meet d/Deaf people. So you will be on the road to meeting Deaf people in Deaf events. As for programming, I am not interest in it.

:welcome: to AllDeaf. :wave:


New Member
Thank You, Bebonang

You advice is sound and I have been following it.

I have worked through an evening class at a community center.

I fingerspell pretty well (having learned it as a child) and I am practicing reading it online several times a week. (A couple of the letters seem to have changed since I learned it and I never had to read it at anything approaching deaf speed.)

I am also halfway through "Learn Sign Language and Master ASL" which includes sections on deaf culture. I have been doing some additional reading about deaf culture. You are right in assuming this has been a gap in my knowledge.

After that I am intending to work through an online course. I know something about learning a language as I have done that before. I am almost fluent in Danish, having lived in Denmark for a while, and can read German. Neither language is as different from English as ASL! Nor as fascinating.

My goal is to be able to teach computer science to deaf students. What I am looking for here would be a step on the way.