Brian Leffler is a Senior Lecturer in American Sign Language at the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. After graduating from William McDaniel College, formerly Western Maryland College, with a degree in Deaf Education with a minor in ASL Studies, he took his doctorate courses in Deaf Education/Deaf Studies at the Lamar University. HIs research interests include language acquisition, sign language preservation, navigation capitals of Deaf students, ASL Literature, and empowerment.

His publications has appeared in journals including Odyssey, Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures, and Foreign Language Annuals (ACTFL). Brian Leffler is the recipient of numerous awards including the UGA Student Government Association’s Outstanding Professor Award, the UGA Career Center’s Student Career Success Influencer, and the UGA and Athens-Clarke County communities’ the President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award. Currently, he is a member of the Board of the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Board of Deaf Access for Quality Living. Brian Leffler serves as Assistant Director of DeafBlind Access of the South and the Chair of board for Hands In! He provides mentoring to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the Athens-Clarke County. He is the faculty advisor of the student organization, ASL Dawgs that promotes language and culture immersion events on the campus and about.

Areas of Expertise

  • Mentoring for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
  • American Sign Language Storytelling
  • Meditation in ASL
  • ASL Literature
  • Instruction of ASL
  • Interpreting Training
  • Deaf Culture/Deaf Studies
  • ASL Linguistics
  • ASL Assessments


  • ASL Literature
  • ASL Linguistics
  • Empowerment of Minority Groups
  • Sign Language Preservation
  • Storytelling
  • Navigation Capitals



  •  M.A. in Deaf Education, 2003
    William McDaniel College
  •  B.S. in Biology, 1998
    Gallaudet University


 706-445-2999 (office)



Hands Up for ASL Literature in K-12 Education


Unfreezing Literature: Spinning the Lenses
  • Leffler B, Willman E, Cohen B, Metcalf H, Ballentiine P, Greene A
  • Leffler, Willman, Cohen, Metcalf, Ballentine and Greene. (2022). Unfreezing Literature: Spinning the Lenses. Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures..


ASL Assessment: What's Out There?
American Sign Language (ASL) education is a relatively new field. Thus, further research is necessary, especially regarding developing assessment tools. The goal of this study was to determine the types of assessment tools ASL level 1 teachers use in the classroom and how those teachers measure students’ language progression. This study is critical because no standard ASL level 1 assessment tool measures students’ skill levels to advance to the next level. The survey was created to build a better understanding of what tools ASL instructors use to assess their students’ language performance. Data were collected from 93 ASL level 1 teachers. The results demonstrated a need for additional training for ASL teachers to improve their knowledge of language assessments and skills in using assessment tools, especially to support ASL students’ language progress and proficiency. The results of this study provide suggestions for future assessment tools to increase the effectiveness of ASL programs across the United States.
  • Buchanan BJ, Pirone JS, Pudans-Smith KK, Leffler BW, Cohen BS, Simmons PK, Ballentine PM, Venable T, Soza K
  • Foreign Language Annals, Dec 2003

Awards and Accolades

The President's Fulfilling the Dream Award

UGA and Athens-Clarke County Communities, 2024

Student Career Success Influencer Award

UGA, Career Center , 2023

Outstanding Professor Award

UGA, Student Government Assocation , 2014