We are documenting the experiences of the ASL communities in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Our project values

Data belongs to the communities

Traditionally when research is done on a community or their language, the final product is not accessible to that community. In order to confront this, we strive to have our research open, accessible, and citable to the ASL communities we collaborate with to explore the documentation of the ASL communities in the time of COVID-19.

Respect for language variation and trajectories (hence “ASL communities”) 

“ASL communities” is used here to acknowledge that language community boundaries are not fixed. We invite people who self-identify as members of the ASL communities. We see this as including and not limited to D/deaf, CODA, hearing, DeafBlind, and so on. During our project, we will respect language variation and different acquisition journeys. We will also work with the communities to document our experiences of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.


We want our collection to reflect the diverse populations of ASL communities. Therefore, we welcome a diverse population. Individuals with varied age, gender, social class, ethnicities, and so on are welcomed to participate in this project. To avoid past practices of relying on middle-class, white individuals to represent ASL communities, we want to break from that mold and include a plethora of people from different backgrounds. 

Safe space 

In order to provide a safe space for self-identified members of the ASL communities and include a diverse background of individuals, no racism, sexism, or audism will be tolerated during any phase of the project. Discrimination, bullying, or attacking of any sort will not be tolerated and dealt with immediately (e.g., by facilitating the disruption to the session, removing offensive content online, etc). 

Bilingual and bimodal

Using a collaborative approach, we will plan to give space to both ASL and English. At times, projects dealing with ASL are done solely in English. This practice needs to be changed. Both ASL and English will be used and considered while progressing through this project. 

Where we are today

We are working on processing and sharing our data. More information here.

Text from workshop - DH LOCUS: (green) MI Diaries & Spin-offs (orange). Thursday, November 4, 2-4 PM (on Zoom). Julie Hochgesang: Documenting the experiences of the ASL communities during COVID-19. Inspired in part by MI Diaries, my research group at Gallaudet is developing a project to document the COVID-19 experiences of members of the ASL communities (Deaf, CODA, hearing, etc) using video recordings of participants across several different activities. Bottom green part has contact info for the workshop
We recently joined the Locus Workshop at Michigan State University where the main theme was the MI Diaries, one of the inspirations of our project! They invited us to present our project. 
Screenshot of a tweet with hashtag #O5S5ASL by @jahochcam. It's quote-tweeting an earlier tweet of hers from July 2020 in which she is pictured along with her son putting a red toy snake on her head. She looks resigned. Text in tweet: "When you ask how working at home with kids is going... #AcademicMama #WorkingMama #WFH #ItsAFreakingPandemic #ASLmamaWithKodas"
We are on social media. Some of us are tagging our own experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic using #O5S5ASL, like Julie Hochgesang who was working from home with two young children doing remote school in the same room!