Janna and I were delighted to create, and then teach, our “Hardcore ASL” style of learning as a new series of American Sign Language courses offered by the City University of New York professional school, and while we no longer teach there, the experience was both historic and defining.

In the fall of 2010, we were contacted by CUNY to help them create a series of American Sign Language classes for their professional students.

We worked with the university throughout the Fall to create the courses, and in January 2011, we stepped before the CUNY Governing Council and won approval for American Sign Language I and American Sign Language II — the first two courses in a series of language study.

Our ASL classes at CUNY were unique for several reasons. First, our students were paraprofessionals working in classrooms with disabled children — so what we taught in class at night was directly applied in a real world classroom the morning — and that was a rare sort of metric that instructors dream about when they plan a lesson of study.

Second, our ASL classes were accepted by CUNY as a foreign language. That was huge and great news, because not all universities offer ASL, and not every university that offers ASL considers it a language that can meet a “foreign language” requirement. CUNY accepted, understood, and celebrated that ASL was, indeed, a language of its own, and we were thrilled by that sort of rare, forward-thinking, prescience.



While we no longer teach ASL at CUNY, you can take courses with us online or in person in the New York City, Tri-State, area. Use our email Contact page to get in touch, or visit our Hardcore ASL website for updated course details.


  1. This is a great opportunity for us to teach ASL to people who work with disabled children in the classroom. I know that will create a new awareness and even more respect for language and greater communication.

    1. That’s a great point, Janna. What we teach will have an immediate impact on classrooms far beyond ours. I am also excited that non-matriculated students are able to take our foreign language ASL classes and get full transcript credit. That is amazing and wonderful.

  2. Exciting stuff, David! Sounds like a fantastic opportunity for those who want to take what they have learned in your books and push it further! 🙂

  3. Hey guys, neat! Now you take over Manhattan the same was you took over the rest of the world with your ASL teaching. Good job! Keep it up!

    1. Hi Anne —

      Thanks for the support! We’ll take over the entire universe when we can also teach ASL over the internet at CUNY-SPS! SMILE!

    1. Hi Henry!

      Thanks for your comment. We don’t currently offer ASL 3 at CUNY-SPS, but we would love to teach that advanced level. We appreciate your expression of interest and we will pass along your request up the chain of CUNY command!

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