The adventures of a laid-back, extremely resourceful educator named ASL MacGyver, whose main asset is his practical application of encyclopedic knowledge and inventive use of common items to provide the best ASL learning experiences for everyone. -Federico Quintana

Learning a new language can be overwhelming, frustrating, and even irritating. The impact of those negative feelings can take away the fun of learning something new especially when a language class is a required course for graduation. Learning a language that is required doesn’t always mean the student isn’t motivated but being frustrated often leads to lack of effort and motivation.

Federico Quintana is an educator who has looked at ASL as a language that should be fun to employ and the learning process needs to be simplified for his students and everybody else who is interested. The quote above is the way Federico introduces ASL MacGyver to the world.

With seven years of teaching under his belt, he has gone through several different types of teaching environments and has been able to incorporate various learning styles into his innovative methods for educating individuals in ASL.

My personal motto as a deaf educator is that “careful planning, enthusiasm, and creativity marshal students for learning and minimize disciplinary problems.” Therefore, in the schools I have taught, I have put together various extracurricular activities such as an ASL daily broadcast, ASL club, meetings with the deaf community, school wide ASL shows, and ASL expository and debate speech contests. Lastly, but of no lesser importance, I have put and will always give my best effort to build a working alliance with parents and school administration in order to join efforts to benefit students and the entire school program. (Federico Quintana)

Federico’s latest project as ASL MacGyver is a video that he has graciously allowed people to use for educational purposes with the understanding that they credit him for his work. Watching this video, the viewer can copy exactly what is being said without having to adjust hand placement because it is made from the first person, the signer’s, point of view.


Here’s an example of some of Federico’s work in the classroom. In this video, he is working with his students to better understand how to use ASL to explain a step-by-step process to a child. In this particular example it is how to brush their teeth.


As Federico (ASL MacGyver) works on various projects to contribute to his own classroom, he has also utilized his artistic skills to develop new visual aids for fellow educators. Some of his artwork can be seen on his Facebook  page. If people are interested in getting in touch with Federico, they can use the contact page on his website or through email.

With his fascination with language acquisition focused in American Sign Language and his aptitude in art, it is no surprise that his motto is, “You don’t hear the sounds, but you do see the sounds.” Stay tuned for more in an upcoming article!

Written by Mary Pat Withem