Learning a new language begins with picking up the basic building blocks of that language. Sign language is not an exception to this rule. If you are interested in learning sign language, you'd do well by memorizing the hand signs for the letters of the alphabet. Not only will it give you the ability to communicate in a rough form with those conversant in sign language, but it'll also make it easier for you to learn more as you go.

Online Sources

Check online for free printable sign language alphabet charts. Type the phrase into a search engine to bring up a list of potential websites. Look through the highest hits but focus on websites belonging to nonprofit organizations such as PBS or universities. Other examples include those found at abcteach.com and apples4theteacher.com. Some websites might try to charge you. Ignore them because you have so many better options freely available on the Internet.

Public Libraries

Visit your public library to see what kind of resources are available for someone trying to learn the basics of sign language. Alternatively, you can either call them to ask directly or check their website for information. Bigger libraries should carry sign language books while some might also run programs to help people learn sign language. You might be able to pick up some freebies from these programs. If not, you can also make photocopies of sign language charts found in books, provided that doing so does not violate copyright laws.

Special Needs Schools

Use the Yellow Pages or a similar online directory to find a list of special needs schools in your local area. Although these schools are not obligated to provide you with the necessary resources unless you or your family member is a pupil at their school, the staff at such schools are often happy to help someone interested in learning sign language. Even if they can't provide you with the chart, they might be able to point you in the right direction.

Other Possible Sources

You might also be able to find free sign language alphabet charts from other sources. Use a directory to find local chapters of organizations that promote the use of sign language such as the National Association of the Deaf. See whether you can get free alphabet charts from these organizations. If not, try asking local clinics and hospitals to see whether they offer free printable charts.

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About the Author

Alan Li started writing in 2008 and has seen his work published in newsletters written for the Cecil Street Community Centre in Toronto. He is a graduate of the finance program at the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce and has additional accreditation from the Canadian Securities Institute.