Jami N. Fisher

Woman smiling outdoors

Director, American Sign Language Program

3401 Walnut Street, C-Wing, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Jami Fisher is the Director of the American Sign Language and Senior Lecturer in Foreign Languages in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, a position she has held since 2005. She is a native ASL user and CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), born and raised in Philadelphia. She has a B.A. in English and Education from Colby College, an M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society and an Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Her current academic interests include finding ways to integrate meaningful, collaborative, community-based activities into ASL and Deaf Studies coursework as well as documenting and analyzing the Philadelphia variety of American Sign Language.

Office Hours
By appointment
  • Ed.D., Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania, 2014
  • M.S. Ed., University of Pennsylvania, 2002
  • B.A., Colby College, 1997
Research Interests

Documenting and analyzing Philadelphia-area ASL Meaningful university/deaf community engagement and collaborations

Courses Taught
  • ASLD 0100 American Sign Language I: Introduction to ASL, Part I
  • ASLD 0300 American Sign Language III: Intermediate ASL, Part I
  • ASLD 1033 Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) in ASL/Deaf Studies
  • ASLD 1032 Deaf Culture
  • ASLD 1039 Penn Global Seminar: Disability Rights and Oppression: Experiences within Global Deaf Communities
Selected Publications
  • Becker, Amelia, Hochgesang, Julie, Tamminga, Meredith, Fisher, Jami: “Sociophonetics and the visuo-manual modality,” in Routledge Handbook of Sociophonetics. Submitted for publication.
  • Fisher, J. N., Hochgesang, J. A., Tamminga, M., & Miller, R. (2021). Uncovering the lived experiences of elderly Deaf Philadelphians. In A. Göksel, J. Hosemann, and R. Pfau, eds. Our Lives–Our Stories: Life Experiences of Elderly Deaf People, 14, 277.
  • Tamminga, M. Fisher, J. Hochgesang, J. (2021) Dominance reversal in American Sign Language. Paper in process to be submitted to Language in Society.
  • Mirus, Gene, Napoli, Donna Jo, Fisher, Jami. “Uncovering Sign Languages in the Linguistic Landscape.” In Neidt, G. and Seals, C. Linguistic Landscapes Beyond the Language Classroom. December 2020.
  • Fisher, Jami, Tamminga, Meredith, Hochgesang, Julie. “The Historical and Social Context of the Philadelphia ASL Community.” Sign Language Studies. Vol. 18, 3, Spring 2018.