Resources for American Sign Language-English Interpreter Students

Scott Community College’s American Sign Language/English Interpreter program debuted in 1995, offering a comprehensive curriculum and practicum unique to the state of Iowa. Because the program is so important to the college and the community at large, we’re constantly working to improve the quality and accessibility of our resources in this area.

In other words: do you have a suggestion for our collection? Please comment below!

Traditional Media Resources


Because American Sign Language is a visual language, we encourage ASL/EI students to explore available titles. Our in-house DVD collection (that is, just what we have at Belmont and not including the rest of our shared catalog) isn’t as impressive as Blockbuster circa 2004, but it contains a larger percentage of relevant documentaries and feature films than the average library does. In addition to DVDs about ASL and deaf studies, we also carry films written, produced, and directed by deaf filmmakers.

You may download a list of our ASL/EI-related DVDs as a PDF or as an Excel spreadsheet.

Print Books

Our in-house collection has over 135 items cataloged under the subjects of sign language and deaf studies. From Patty Ladd’s Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood to Ken Glickman’s Deafinitions for Signlets : Any Word Pertaining to the World of the Deaf That Isn’t in the Dictionary, But Should Be.

Students tend to do most of their research online, but as long as you’re at Scott, take advantage of our collection.

To access our catalog, login to EICConnectMenu →  LibraryCatalog or through the library page of the website.  Our library catalog is connected to the RiverShare catalog, covering Iowa libraries in the Quad Cities, Scott County, and outlying areas.  To find books that are in the Scott Community College Library, be sure to limit your search to just our library.  If you prefer to look at books throughout the RiverShare system, you can have books sent to the Scott Community College Library to pick up.  For more information on using RiverShare, please ask the library staff.  To check books out, you need a library card from Scott Community College Library or one of the RiverShare libraries.

You may download a list of our ASL/EI-related print books as a PDF or as an Excel spreadsheet.

Electronic Resources

To use these resources, first log in to EICConnect, then go to the Electronic Resources under Library found under Menu. These are resources unaffiliated with SCC and some require creating a new username and login prior to use.


Here are just a few of them. See the descriptions below to learn what’s available and how it works.

Digital Video Database

Films on Demand filmsondemand

While available films include full lectures and demonstrations of usage, some of the best videos available are bite-sized examples of ASL communication in everyday scenarios. These videos make use of story-telling, which language instructors tend to agree is one of the best ways to learn a language.

In addition to demonstrative videos, news reels and documentaries about deaf culture are available. Students may need to make use of the filters on the right side of the page to find what they’re looking for. For example, to find a 1940 film about deaf soldiers, you would have to filter for videos more than 20 years old.

Research and Paper-writing Help

ProQuest Research Companion proquest

ASL/EI students must have strong communication skills demonstrated through papers and speeches. Writing a research paper or giving a ten-minute speech can be overwhelming. ProQuest helps you with an easy step-by-step process from finding information, evaluating information, and making use of information. It answers questions like, “How do I avoid plagiarism?” and “What do I look for when I revise?”

Databases and Digital Journal Articles

Pro-tip: sometimes an article in one of these databases will come with an abstract. This is a summary of the article that tells you exactly what information you’ll find after a full reading. Always. Read. The. Abstract. Nothing’s worse than reading a 6500-word article only to discover it has nothing to do with your topic.

EBSCO ebsco-logo2

EBSCOhost is one of our favorite database aggregators because 1) we’ve stocked it with journals that are not available without subscription, so it’s full of information you can’t find for free via Google, and 2) there are so many search and filtering options. If used correctly, they vastly decrease wasted research time – no more slogging through unrelated articles for you!

For example, you may search for American Sign Language AND education. If you only want peer reviewed results, select “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” located under the section labeled, “Limit your results.”

Additional forms and selections below involve each individual database. These are most useful if you’re going to look at one or two databases at a time. Remember, EBSCOhost searches several databases at a time. If you’d like to limit yourself to one or two, click on the link that reads “Choose Databases” located right above the search form. Some are very specific – such as the database of Civil War Primary Source Documents.

When you run a search in EBSCO, it is set to retrieve just the articles that we have available in full text.   Depending on your topic, you might want more choices.  If you need additional articles to select from, uncheck the box for Full Text to see articles that can be ordered through interlibrary loan.  (Not familiar with this?  Just ask the library staff for help!)

Academic OneFile academiconefile

Academic OneFile is another major database with a great collection of journals. Though its crawler doesn’t offer quite as many pre-search filtering options, you can perform an advanced search.

Most of the filtering options in Academic OneFile are available after it’s already retrieved articles on your search topic. Given that, this database may be most helpful to someone who isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for yet.

For example, after you’ve retrieved your search results, a side-bar titled, “Content Types” will appear on the side of your screen. At the bottom of this bar is the Topic Finder, next to a little color wheel icon. This tool finds the most common words and terms from the retrieved results and suggests related subjects. For American Sign Language, their suggested subjects include “Deaf Children” and “Linguistics.” This may inspire you to write about deaf children in public education or the linguistics of ASL and/or English.

Science Online scienceonline

A web site devoted to the six journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this digital collection features articles about scientific break-throughs, including in the fields of communication technology and neurology.

Interestingly, this database can also serve as a tool to study historical attitudes and treatments, as the journal and the AAAS date back to the early 19th century. Be sure to check the publication date on an article for the purpose of context.


Credo Reference credo-reference-cors-2014-purple-hor

Credo Reference is best used as a starting place for general research.  This database is primarily comprised of eBooks in the fields of sociology, history, psychology, business, art, literature, and philosophy. There are also reference materials for mathematics.  Credo Reference does not contain journal articles.

EBSCO  and EBSCO eBooks Mobile App ebscoebooksma_logo

You can find eBooks from EBSCO through the same EBSCO link you use to access EBSCO journals!  Run a search in EBSCO, then limit to eBooks or try the EBSCO eBooks Mobile App. To access the eBooks Mobile App, click on the EBSCO link, then select the app from the list.

eBooks and eAudio eicc-college-libraries

RiverShare (the group of libraries in Iowa for the Quad Cities, Scott County, Clinton County and surrounding areas) has two collections of eBooks:  academic and public library. Unfortunately, relevant searches for ASL/EI students yield few results, BUT you may recommend a title yourself via a single click. We encourage you to do so and help make sure your local libraries better serve the community.


CQ Researcher cq-research-logo

CQ Researcher is a different type of database, with articles written on controversial topics by top journalists, rather than journal articles or eBooks. This is an excellent choice for research for a position paper. It’s also a great way to keep up with current issues society deems important, such as disability rights.

Articles reference primarily online resources and open access journals, which do not require a paid subscription. If your subject requires scientific or peer-reviewed evidence, this is not the database for you.

Other Materials


We have a limited number of graphing calculators (Texas Instruments TI-84+) available for single-day checkout, meaning they must be returned by the end of the day. College-level math courses require these calculators and each student should own one. Should yours temporarily go missing or run low on power, however, stop in and we’ll set you up. If your math class ends after the library is closed, go ahead and leave it in the book drop.

Test Prep and Skill Practice

Learning Express Library learning_express_library

Improved math, writing, test-taking, and study skills are all a few clicks away. The Learning Express Library offers several online “centers” – such as the Career Center and the Computer Skills Center – designed to help us continue learning at every stage in life.

Want to learn a new skill? Learning Express Library is the best place to start.


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