Alberta in sign language

This word entry contains how to sign "Alberta" in American Sign Language and some tidbits.

Printable ASL sign for ALBERTA

ASL sign for Alberta

Meaning: Alberta, the province in the west in Canada.

How to pronounce: the movement of the dominant A-handshape should be leftward twice (if right-handed) across the passive hand (palm down).

Etymology: A reason for this ASL word is related to the mountains in the western part of Alberta.


For signing the University of Alberta, sign UNIVERSITY + ALBERTA.

Cities in Alberta: BANFF, EDMONTON, CALGARY, LETHBRIDGE, RED DEER, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, CANADA.

Deaf Culture and History

Did you know that...?

Alberta is home to the creation of The Canadian Dictionary of ASL (2002) by Carole Sue Bailey (Deaf, born in the U.S.), Hilda Marian Campbell (deaf/hard-of-hearing), and Kathy Dolby (hearing). All of these authors were teachers at Alberta School for the Deaf (ASD).

Another, Alberta is home to the first credit-based ASL course (L1) in North America to be offered to high school (Deaf) students at the Alberta School for the Deaf (ASD) in the late 1980s. More on this down this page.

The Legislature (Alberta government) passed the motion on June 19th, 1990 to recognize ASL as a language of the deaf in Alberta and to incorporate it into Alberta's grade school and post-secondary curriculum as an available language of instruction.

The first ASL credit course in high school

As ASL courses boomed in the 1980s across North America, the first ever credit ASL course offered in high school in North America took place at the Alberta School for the Deaf in Edmonton, Canada in fall 1989. As the students' first and/or native language was ASL, this ASL (L1) course was designated as a first language (more of basic linguistics and structure) for Deaf students. The course was taught by Sue C. Bailey, an American-born, Canadian native-ASL Deaf teacher.

ASL teacher Sue (Caroline) Bailey (1949-2016) originally from the U.S. taught at the Alberta School for the Deaf for many years before she retired and lived in British Columbia. Months before she passed away in 2016 from cancer, she wrote to her former Deaf students telling them how proud she was of them.

Before she passed away, Bailey sent a few of her students a copy of the video recorded from the TV broadcast in the late 1980s. About five of these students from the first high-school ASL course have become ASL instructors across North America today -- two in the U.S. and one is the ASL instructor and creator/founder of this website (!

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

How to write ASL for ALBERTA

The bottom digit represents the passive or base hand with the partial arm. The top digit represents the handshape A and the middle one depicts a movement backward towards the two dots which indicate twice.

Written ASL digit for ALBERTA. [Contributed by ASLwrite, 2020]

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