Workshops

Hands-on workshops suitable for conferences, festivals, and professional development.

For Writers:

Storybuilding: No matter what your genre, a rich palette of details brings the world of your story to life.  Kathy MacMillan shows how to focus on the specifics you need at each stage of the writing process to build your characters’ world without ever losing sight of the story at its heart.

Choices and Consequences: Kathy MacMillan shows how to analyze your story through the lens of choices and consequences to create coherent plots, compelling characters, and satisfying endings. 

Taking off the Training Wheels: Neil Gaiman says fanfiction can act as a training ground for writing original fiction. Is he right? Kathy MacMillan, author of Sword and Verse, discusses how writing fanfic in the Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Babylon 5 fandoms prepared her for creating fictional worlds of her own.

For Parents:

Sign with Your Child: Research shows that signing with all children stimulates language development, eases communication, supports early literacy, and defuses frustration for parents and children alike. Kathy MacMillan, author of Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, introduces the whys and hows of signing with children ages birth to six and shares hands-on activities you can use throughout the day.

For Educators and Librarians:

Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff: The deaf patron approaches the reference or circulation desk…but you don’t panic. You know all about the history of ASL and the basics of Deaf Culture, thanks to this hands-on workshop, and even basic signs to introduce yourself and help the patron negotiate the library. (Part 2 available for additional follow-up.)

Create a Calmer Classroom with American Sign Language: No matter what age you work with, using basic American Sign Language with your students can enhance student understanding, address different learning styles, and create calm. You’ll leave this session armed with a toolbox of signs to start using right away.

Hands-on Storytimes: Incorporating Basic Sign Language into Your Programs: This presentation will cover the benefits of using basic signs with both deaf and hearing children, and offer a variety of simple techniques for making your programs more fun, educational, and participative through the use of signs with audiences of all ages. Participants will leave armed with a vocabulary of very basic signs to start using right away.

Little Hands Signing in the Classroom: Studies show that using sign language with hearing children can improve vocabulary, reading comprehension, defuse behavior issues, support a variety of learning styles, and increase overall interest in learning! Learn the fascinating reasons behind this phenomenon as well as strategies for incorporating into your classroom. The best part is, you don’t have to be fluent in the language for your students to reap the benefits!

Multicultural Storytime Magic: Learn how to seamlessly weave engaging rhymes, stories, songs, and activities representing the diverse experiences of people around the world into your storytimes and lessons, no matter what the theme! In this high-energy workshop, you’ll get lots of practical ideas you can apply in your classroom right away!

Sign, Baby, Sign!: Babies can sign long before they can speak, and research shows that using sign language with both hearing and deaf babies imparts language benefits that can last a lifetime. Learn the benefits of using signs with babies and toddlers, as well as ways to incorporate signs into your program and educate parents in baby sign. Participants will leave with a basic vocabulary of signs to use right away.

Storytime Stuff: It’s a storytime showdown full of fresh ideas, practical tricks, and easy flannelboards, fingerplays, sign language rhymes, and other activities. Learn how to keep your audience’s attention, transition smoothly between activities, and keep kids and parents coming back for more. Can be presented as a getting-started guide for beginners or a more advanced session for veteran presenters.

For Anyone:

Basic American Sign Language: In this hands-on (pun intended!) workshop, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in ASL and how to use basic signs for everyday interactions. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of ASL and Deaf Culture, and receive a basic framework for learning more signs in the future. Note: This workshop can be tailored to your needs with the addition of workplace-specific vocabulary for your setting.

Working with a Sign Language Interpreter: Communicating through a third party can be stressful for everyone involved – but it doesn’t have to be that way! Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, participants in this workshop will develop an understanding of the interpreter’s role, and will learn how to effectively communicate through an interpreter. Whether your experience with interpreters is in business settings, social settings, or nonexistent, this workshop is for you.

 

Workshop Pricing:

  • 2 hour workshop: $400 plus travel expenses
  • 3 hour workshop: $550 plus travel expenses
  • 4 hour workshop: $750 plus travel expenses
  • Full day workshop: $1000 plus travel expenses

A flat per-program rate that includes travel expenses may be negotiated for multiple bookings.

Policies:

  • Cancellations: Workshops cancelled with less than 72 hours (3 days) notice for any reason will be billed in full including any applicable travel expenses. For programs requiring air travel, programs cancelled with less than 2 weeks (10 working days) notice for any reason will be billed in full including any applicable travel expenses.
  • Acts of God: Payment for cancellation of workshops due to natural disasters or severely inclement weather conditions may be waived on the condition that the workshop is rescheduled within 3 weeks.
  • Mileage: Round-trip mileage will be charged according to the current IRS business mileage rate.
  • Early Arrival: Presenter will arrive at least 30 minutes prior to workshop start time.
  • Physical Setup: Due to the visual and interactive nature of these workshops, every effort should be made to ensure that program space provides adequate lighting and clear sightlines.
  • Photos and Recording: Event organizers and attendees may take as many still photos as they like during the presentations. No videorecording is permitted without express permission of the presenter.
  • Interpreters: The presenter can present in either spoken English or American Sign Language. If an interpreter is needed, it is the responsibility of the agency booking the workshop to provide one.
  • Book Sales: I request that schools and libraries offer sales of my book(s) in conjunction with visits. If desired, I can arrange for book sales through Deaf Camps, Inc. (with all proceeds benefiting this nonprofit organization). I will be available to sign books after the session or at another agreed-upon time during the visit.
  • Collection Fees: Attorney’s fees and court costs will be added to the balance due if necessary to collect.

Proceeding with contractual agreement implies acceptance of terms.

To book a workshop:

  • Check my availability calendar and identify your preferred dates and times.
  • Fill out the contact form here.  Include your contact information, organization name and address, expected number of workshop participants, and choices of dates/times.
  • I will check dates/times and reply to you with a confirmation.
  • Please read Cancellation policy carefully. A cancellation fee will apply as described above.