Welcome to Signing Online! If you're a returning user or just beginning to explore ASL instruction, read our New Platform Announcement to get started.


About SigningOnline

The founders of Signing Online combine over 25 years of expertise in teaching and writing about American Sign Language, including authoring E-Z American Sign Language by David A Stewart published by Barrons Educational Series, with over 15 years of expertise in creating interactive multimedia educational products, including the development of the Personal Communicator CD-ROM, which won the Discover Magazine Software of the Year award in 1995.

Waving Hand

We Love What We Do

Our Mission

Signing Online's mission is to make it easier for you to learn American Sign Language. Using advanced Internet technology and effective teaching theories, SigningOnline.com is designed to teach you American Sign Language from home, school, work, a library, an airport terminal, an Internet café, or anywhere you may be with an Internet connection, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who Uses ASL?

It is the language used by Deaf people living in the United States and in Canada. It is used in schools, the community, and the workplace. Many Hearing people use it too.

Who Created SigningOnline?

Dr. David Stewart

Dr. David Stewart Founder, Signing Online

David Stewart was the ASL content expert and the creative genius behind the Signing Online program as well as one of the signers in the courses. He has taught American Sign Language since 1979 and along with a team of researchers from Michigan State University, was responsible for the creation of the Personal Communicator, an award-winning CD developed in the mid-1990s to facilitate communication between deaf students and their hearing classmates in public schools.

Stewart was a professor and director of the Deaf Education program at Michigan State University. In addition to preparing teachers to teach deaf and hard of hearing children he oversaw the American Sign Language program. He was the recipient of several federal grants to conduct research on the education of deaf students. He made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.

Prior to attending graduate school and becoming a professor, Stewart taught deaf and hard of hearing children in a school for the deaf. He wrote extensively about the use of sign language in the classroom and the critical role it has in the identity of the Deaf community. He is the author of seven books and over 60 academic publications related to American Sign Language, sociocultural aspects of the Deaf community, and the education of deaf and hard of hearing children.

As a Deaf individual, Stewart had long ties with the Deaf community and its members. He served on the Board of Trustees for many years at Gallaudet University.

David passed away in June 2004. His passion for Deaf Education and American Sign Language lives on through his work and the many minds that he has touched.


Dr. Stewart's Vision for SigningOnline

  • Affordable interactive courses
  • Advanced web video technology
  • Field-tested interactive instructional techniques
  • Uses real-life situations and content
  • Provides many opportunities for practice
  • Always available
  • Flexible scheduling. You set your own schedule and pace.

Over ten thousand students have completed the courses for credit, non-credit and continuing education. Students from universities, colleges, high schools, government and non-government organizations, and businesses use Signing Online to educate themselves in American Sign Language.

On A Personal Note

David Stewart, profoundly Deaf creator of Signing Online, and his deaf sister Diane grew up in a Hearing family setting. Their hearing loss was a “dawning realization” rather than an instant recognition that something was amiss. Those of us who later knew David and Diane agree that their grasp of language and speech skills indicate they must have had at least some vestige of hearing in their first years of life. “Children who become deaf at the age of two or later are called postlingually deaf. These children have already started speaking and have acquired language skills that will assist in the further development of language as they adjust to being deaf and to learning a new communication mode” (The Signing Family by David A Stewart and Barbara Luetke-Stahlman) Perhaps parents of deaf children will be heartened to know that David, a brilliant and creative person, could not hear but was still able to do everything else… His deafness was a fact of life and no more of a disability for him than the need to wear glasses to read. As I. King Jordan often said “Deaf people can do anything hearing people can do, except hear.” There is no doubt that David was a highly successful, brilliantly insightful Deaf man who accomplished much and was admired by many. David admitted that when he learned sign language it gave his life a new dimension along with much needed confidence. He wished he had been given the early social and emotional advantages of unfettered communication through Sign Language. From his determination to share this beautiful language the idea of Signing Online was created.

Books Written By Dr. David Stewart


Language In Motion

This enjoyable book first introduces sign language and communication, follows with a history of sign languages in general, then delves into the structure of ASL. Later chapters outline the special skills of fingerspelling and assess the academic offshoot of artificial sign systems and their value to young deaf children.


The Signing Way

Details ways parents can set goals for their deaf children and describes the signing options available.


Literacy And Your Deaf Child

This guide provides parents with strategies for helping a deaf child learn to read and write, offering activities that parents can do at home with their deaf child and suggestions for working with the child's school and teachers.

Ask Us A Question

If you'd like a little bit more information about what we do at SigningOnline, or have questions about pursuing and learning ASL, just send a message at the link below and we will respond as soon as we can (usually within one business day).

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