Join us for a Free ASL Social

We will be having ASL socials on March 31 & April 28 and we would love it if you could come! They will be from 7pm-9pm at the Tim Hortons at 144 Franktown Road in Carleton Place.

Arrive when you can, and leave when you have to. These will be fun, informal evenings where we can chat in ASL. Everyone is welcome – all ages and all abilities. Just come ready to sign!

Queer ASL for LGBTQ & Allies: March 20, March 27, and April 3

Come on out and learn sign language! This intro class is for anyone who prefers an inclusive and welcoming space – you don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to attend. Join 2-Spirit Deaf Instructor Sarina Elliott to learn American Sign Language and Deaf culture. This immersion class will be taught entirely in ASL, so be prepared to turn your voice off.

This small-group class uses games and fun activities to get you signing. One of the first things you’ll learn is how to introduce yourself with your name and pronouns in ASL, and how to ask others for their name and pronouns. Topics include fingerspelling, family signs, signs related to gender and sexual orientation, basic grammar, and lots more. All of the topics will be explored through a Deaf Queer perspective, and you will come away with some basic signing skills.

This class is for teens and adults, and will run on Monday evenings from 7pm-8pm on March 20, March 27, and April 3 at the Carleton Place Public Library. Cost is $75 a person. Contact us at or 613-558-3199 (phone or text) to reserve your spot.

Sign Language for Babies March 24-May 5

Registration is now open for the next Sign Language for Babies group class. This class is for ages 0-2 years, and will run on Friday mornings from 10:30am-11:30am at the Carleton Place Public Library. Cost is $120 per family.

Topics include everyday routines, fingerspelling, emotions, playtime, fingerplays, animals, bathroom routines, counting, the great outdoors, stop and go games, manners, and family. We will also cover what is ASL, the controversies around signing with babies, sign approximations, receptive vs expressive language, 4 ways of demonstrating a sign, semantics, ages and stages of signing, language deprivation, and benefits of signing with children.

The sixth session will be a structured playgroup rather than a structured class. We will begin with a circle time, followed by an opportunity for caregivers and babies to socialize, play, and sign together. Toys and books will be provided, and there will be lots of time for questions.

This course features 12 songs and 5 storybooks, and a take home resource is handed out in each class. This includes a basic routines poster, an alphabet poster, a finger puppet, the 100 Signs for Parents booklet from DawnSignPress, and a review poster for everyday signs.

Signing with your baby is a gift to them and a gift to you. Register your little one today and experience the gifts of connection and communication. Contact us at or 613-558-3199 (phone or text) to reserve your spot.

Join Us for an ASL Social Night in Carleton Place

We will be having an ASL social on February 24, 2023 and we would love it if you could come! It will be from 7pm-9pm at the Tim Hortons at 144 Franktown Road in Carleton Place.

Arrive when you can, and leave when you have to. This will be a fun, informal evening where we can chat in ASL. Everyone is welcome – all ages and all abilities. Just come ready to sign!

Now Accepting Applications for Deaf Storyteller

Black Bear Healing Home is pleased to announce that we are hiring an independent contractor to work as our Deaf Storyteller in Ottawa. Please see below for more info.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact us. To apply you can email Lisa a video introducing yourself. We welcome all applicants. Priority will be given to 2SLGBTQ+ people and/or BIPOC people. If you would like to be considered under our hiring priorities policy, please self-identify in your application.

UPDATE: This position has been filled.

Group Classes at the Carleton Place Public Library

Earlier this spring, Lisa had the pleasure of running a sign language for babies course for the Carleton Place Public Library. For 5 weeks, she met with a group of parents and their babies on Zoom for 45 minutes. Using books, games, and songs, Lisa taught the group how to get started using ASL with their children.

Heidi Sinnett, the Children’s Librarian, had this to say:

Each session was creative, easy to understand, and allowed everyone time to master the skills they felt would be most useful to their home environment.

To read all of Heidi’s kind words, click through to What Our Clients Say. Working with the library’s families was so much fun!

If you would like Lisa to run a program for your library or community organization, please contact us! Classes can be done live online, or in person. For questions or to schedule a session, please email or call or text 613-558-3199.

Sign Language for Littles Online Workshop

This class is now being taught quarterly.

To register for the next class, head on over to the Birthsmarter website.

Join Lisa and Simone Edwards-Forde on January 16th for this one-hour interactive class on using ASL to boost communication in the first two years of life.

Poster for our Zoom-based "Sign Language for Littles" class.
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Free Fingerspelled Alphabet Poster

Black Bear Healing Home’s fingerspelled alphabet poster is now available here on our website for free! You are welcome to print this image and use it.

If you need a PDF version which is sized to print on normal computer paper, please email Lisa at

Printed versions of this poster are given out to all of our sign language for babies students.

Contact us today to book your first class!

Screenshot of the fingerspelled alphabet poster created by Black Bear Signing for Babies.

Sign Language for Babies Course Now Available

Learn how to teach your baby sign language. Online from the comfort of anywhere – including your own home! In person classes are also available locally.

Lisa uses games, books, and songs to teach you everything you need to know to start signing with your baby. This course is offered on a sliding scale of $50-$200 (pay what you can).

Mother and baby signing together
Continue reading “Sign Language for Babies Course Now Available”