Susan Layton

Film Producer - ASL Performer - Life Learner

Tag: App

I *heart* ASL Stories! (Apps)

App of the Week: VL2 Storybooks

(4 ASL Storybook Apps that are pretty awesome!)

I love a good story and when it’s done right in ASL, it’s absolutely beautiful! I thought I’d share one of my favorite apps (actually there are 4 apps but all are from the same place).

IMG_7306The Baobab – Gallaudet University,

The Boy Who Cried Wolf VL2 Storybook – Gallaudet University,

The Blue Lobster – Gallaudet University,

The Solar System VL2 Storybook – Gallaudet University

These storybook apps were created by VL2 (Visual Language and Visual Learning), a Science and Learning Center based at Gallaudet University, ‘the world’s only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students’.* IMG_7312

These apps are interactive, using content based ASL signs (which is very important! One sign doesn’t fit every meaning for the same English word); include a comprehensive glossary of words used within the story; and are rich with color! Not only that, these apps are designed based on proven research in bilingualism and visual learning.  I love them!  (My kids love them too!)

The Baobab – Gallaudet University,

The Boy Who Cried Wolf VL2 Storybook – Gallaudet University,

The Blue Lobster – Gallaudet University,IMG_7300

The Solar System VL2 Storybook – Gallaudet University

Each of these 4 apps include the option to watch the story (narrator on the story background), have the story text at the bottom with narrator on screen, and include ASL vocabulary used in the story (and beautiful expansions of those words).

Now, for those in more advanced stages of learning sign or even working to become an interpreter, I think these videos could be of great value to you, as well.  IMG_7320You will find their use of classifiers, facial expressions, use of space and many other ASL components are amazing to watch and would be useful in mirroring and expounding on in your own practice.  Not only that, the ‘Watch’ section of the apps give you a beautiful opportunity to practice voicing.

Anyways, check out these 4 beautiful storybook apps!  ….

In ASL, “I *heart* ASL Stories” would look like this: “ASL Stories Kiss-Fist!” … That means I REALLY love ASL stories!  … SMILES!



*Gallaudet description: Quoted from their website.

**P.S. My opinion/warning regarding ASL apps: It really is tough to find ASL apps that I would trust my family to.  Sure, there are some ASL apps out there (and I’ll share some other ones at a later time) that I believe use (or teach signs) with accuracy and effectively, four of which are these VL2 apps.   But there are several apps that are very poor, that I believe either do not sign with accuracy or teach ASL poorly.  That’s the unfortunate part of having anything at your fingertips.  No one has to be ‘qualified’ just money to fork the app costs.  And then those who buy the app suffer.  Even more so, the Deaf suffer by having to try and piece together the inaccurate ASL, which man not necessarily be at the fault of the user! You just have to know which apps are good and trustworthy and go with those! So, there you have it.  ….Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Ha.

‘Live Positive’ App

App of the week: Live Positive –

IMG_6885I went out to lunch with Hilary Weeks, the smile and brains behind Live Positive –, a few weeks back and had a great time!  We talked about performing, kids, husbands, her new adventures, my new adventures, Disneyland, and of course, “how many calories do you think that butter has?”  Yes! Super serious!  Ha.  She is as real and genuine as she appeared to me over Facebook!

After our lunch, I thought I’d see what her app, Live Positive –, is all about.  I am the kind that thinks, “I can do (whatever) without (whatever)”  … So, here I was thinking, “I can ‘be positive’ without an ‘app'” … but I did want to give it a try, just to say I tried!  I sat in my car and challenged myself to think of 20 things positive IMG_7144about myself.  I realized my positivity level was not all what I cracked it up to be!  I was hard on myself.  I would think “I’m good at cleaning my house, well, no, not really because my dishes are still not done from last night” *hold that click* … “I am, well, no not really” *no click, keep thinking* … “I have a nice smile, well, oh my goodness! I got food in my teeth, oh, that’s great” *put down the phone! Was that there when I was visiting with Hilary?!* … I realized that the “yeah, but not really” ‘s about myself and life were really stacked up high against me!  I needed help being positive!  So sitting in my car, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere till I hit my 20.  I sat there for 45 minutes!  Wow, I quickly realized I NEEDED this app! And I have used it everyday since!  I first focus on myself: my positive traits, personality, my strengths, abilities, things I’ve accomplished, and then I think of positive things around me: my kids, my home, my family. IMG_0035 I find my days are full of life, happiness, more positivity, and are so much more meaningful, because I am training myself to be more positive.

One day, I was particularly hard on myself and feeling down.  I got out my Live Positive – app and said, “Dang it! I am good at, at …. *searching around my room* …. at hanging up my belt!!!” And I stomped over and grabbed my belt and hung it up!  *CLICK!* Then I thought of some other things that I “can do” and did it and clicked.  It took several of those and then I said, “See! I accomplish! and I am proud of myself!” *CLICK!*  Boy, was that a roughIMG_7143 day for me!  Really, looking back, those were silly things (although at the time they were real struggles and real accomplishments!).  This app kept me going.  I needed the click – I needed to find the positive!

Everyday, I click!  It is easier for me to see the bright side of things, of people, and especially of myself.  I LOVE the Live Positive –!

Think positive! Live positive!


© 2023 Susan Layton

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑