ASL numbers for interpreters: Four number systems you need to know!

Handshape for number "4"


Start: March 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM
End: March 22, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Hosted by Maine RID


University of Southern Maine Wishcamper Center, Shepard-Lee Auditorium
34 Bedford Street, Portland, Maine. 04101

Workshop description

View David describing the workshop in ASL.

Numbers are a basic expression of language fluency yet many interpreters do not produce ASL numbers accurately. Do you know how to correctly convey the following: Channel 4, four children, 4th in a sequence, and the last four digits of your SSN? Hint: only one is produced palm in, and only one is produced palm out.

Numbering systems differ in English and ASL. English is relatively straightforward with only two categories. ASL, however, has over two dozen systems including nominals, quantifiers, sequential, and informational.

While many systems are familiar, interpreters struggle with which to use. This is especially true with some of the more unique categories. Expressing ASL numbers incorrectly can make an interpreted message difficult for Deaf viewers to understand.

In this session, participants will learn to recognize and use four specific and common numbering systems in ASL. Participants will also develop skill in articulating those systems accurately. Increase your language fluency in ASL with numbers!

After taking this workshop, participants will be able to…

  • Identify four specific numbering systems in ASL
  • Accurately articulate numbers in each system
  • Appropriately use the systems in ASL texts


4-hour workshop requiring some content pre-knowledge, and offering 0.4 CEUs in the Professional Studies category by MeRID, an approved RID CMP and ACET sponsor.


Open to Interpreters, interpreting students, and advanced ASL students (Deaf, hearing, coda) interested in improving their use of ASL’s numbering systems, this workshop will be presented in ASL with no spoken English interpretation.


Deadline: To be ensure adequate workshop materials, registrations must be received by Friday, March 6, 2015. On-site registration will be accepted, but materials are not guaranteed.

ADA accommodations

Accessibility requests must be submitted by March 1, 2015.

Cancellation policy

No refunds will be issued after February 20, 2015.


Nick Dionne or Alyssa Gagnon,


MeRID members: $60.00 (Sunday), $200.00 (full weekend)
Students: $60.00 (Sunday), $200.00 (full weekend)
Non-members: $80.00 (Sunday), $250.00 (full weekend)


Maine RID
University of Southern Maine

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