ASL with Care Bears

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The Review

This product was created through collaboration between Hallmark’s Care Bears and the deaf-owned Ink & Salt, LLC. (Ink & Salt, LLC has produced The ASL App, too.) This app has over 400 signs and phrases, modeled by a young deaf signer.  

“Care Bears” has an interesting history. It has been launched more than five times since its inception by American Greetings in 1983.  The kingdom includes a Netflix show, music, comics, books, merchandise, video games, smart toys, and now this app.  

The freebie has two sections: “Care Bears Welcomes You” and “Meet the Care Bears.”  The latter shows creative name signs for 12 characters such as Bright Heart Raccoon.  The ASL phrases are in the correct grammatical form (e.g., presenting a noun before an adjective) and the name signs are done tastefully. Children can click "FAVORITE" on those signs, putting them into a personalized folder to review later. A search engine is also available for children to find particular signs.

Two or three signs (e.g., “Furry”) could be fingerspelled to specify which adjective was used. There is also a reference chart with the ASL alphabet and the numbers 0-9 patterned in colors. The landscape scenes are attractive--there are abstract rainbows, clouds, beaches, forests, and cottages. 

For $4.99, children can unlock the next eight sections: Care Bear, Expressions, Colors, Shapes & Textures, Feelings, Love, and Your Family.  This translates into a penny per sign, which is definitely a worthwhile investment for children to become bilingual learners.

“ASL with Care Bears” is a cool 61.9 MB app. Come and learn signs with Care Bears!

More Information

  • Publisher/Producer: Ink & Salt LLC
  • Signer: Mary Harman
  • Project Manager: Matt Malzkuhn
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchase for a $4.99 bundle)
  • Year: 2016
  • Videotaped signer
  • Features:
    • Subtitles (words and phrases in English shown simultaneously with signing)
    • Aided Comprehension Contents: Word list, slow-motion replay option, read-along English words.
    • Format/Type:  Dictionary: words and phrases

Disclaimer: This review was not written by a member of Visual Language and Visual Learning, NSF Science of Learning Center or by any student, faculty, or staff at Gallaudet University.