American Sign Language (ASL) Access Videos

The Fort Smith Public Library is happy to announce that it is the fifth library in the nation to offer the ASL Access video collection to its patrons. ASL Access, a non-profit organization functioning as a liaison between librarians and ASL-using patrons, puts collections of over 200 videos on public library shelves, to the delight of hundreds of patrons eager to see American Sign Language poetry, comedy, stories, drama, debate, discussions and instruction.

The library’s collection is dedicated to Matthew Clark, the first teacher at the Arkansas School for the Deaf which was originally located here in Fort Smith. Clark, a deaf teacher from Texas School for the Deaf and an alumnus of New York School for the Deaf, had been hired to teach deaf children in Fort Smith in 1861 by Mr. and Mrs. Asa Clark, parents of a deaf girl. The legislature incorporated this school and provided $2,000. Soon after this, however, the same legislature voted to secede from the Union. As a result, the school was open only 10 months, from January 1861 to the following October, when it closed because of the war.

The videos are available for a two-week check out at the main library which is located at 3201 Rogers Ave in Fort Smith. They are also available to other libraries through interlibrary loan. Search our web catalog for Matthew Clark to get a full list of our ASL Access video holdings.

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This Page Last updated: 2 June 2006
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