Sign Language News from AAU, Ethiopia!

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Dec 27 15:49:31 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
December 27, 2008

Hello Eyasu, Stefan and everyone!

I too join Stefan in wishing you congratulations! You have worked so  
hard on your new Ethiopian Sign Language and Deaf Culture program at  
Addis Ababa University, and now it is a reality! That is a big step  
forward ;-))

And thank you for posting this information to our SignWriting List  
members, and permission to post on the web...I will add this  
information to:

SignWriting in Ethiopia

and regarding a teacher for SignWriting, which you mentioned, if there  
is funding, we could send a teacher to Ethiopia, but if there is no  
funding, we can make arrangements to learn through the internet, web,  
email, telephone, videophone and Skype...we just need to setup a  
special appointment with your students to get started...

Or start asking questions on the SignWriting List...I added some new  
Ethiopian handshape symbols to our International SignWriting Alpabet  
(ISWA 2008). I realize there are probably other handshapes that you  
will need, when writing Ethiopian Sign Language Literature, but at  
least there are more handshapes already constructed for you...take a  
look at the symbols in SignPuddle:

SignPuddle for Ethiopian Sign Language

And I am happy to ship more SignWriting books and dvds to you in 2009...

Eyasu sent me two reports in PDF format...I will send them next  
message to the SW List...

Thank you, Eyasu, and happy holidays everyone!

Val ;-)


On Dec 26, 2008, at 3:00 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

> Hi Eyasu,
> thank you very much for your report. Congratulation – what an  
> achievement.
> All the best to you and your friends
> Stefan ;-)
> Von: sw-l-bounces at [mailto:sw-l-bounces at 
> ] Im Auftrag von Eyasu Tamene
> Gesendet: Freitag, 26. Dezember 2008 18:16
> An: sw-l at; Valerie Sutton
> Betreff: [sw-l] Sign Language News from AAU, Ethiopia!
> Dearest Val and the listers,
> My sincear greetings and a beloved Merry Christmas from Addis to you  
> and all around you.
> It has been quiet a long time since I got in contact with the list.  
> However, I have been following the listers discussion behind the  
> scene. Val, I really appreciate your kind patience and enthusiastic  
> concern to the development of SW.
> My piece of information is that we, the Department of Linguistics,  
> Addis Ababa University have launched Ethiopia's first BA in  
> Ethiopian Sign Language and Deaf Culture program by having the first  
> batch of 26 students. 20 of them are Deaf and the rest 6 are hearing  
> students. On this occassion I would like to present my heartfelt  
> thanks to all who have been so much supportive in giving us thier  
> comment while designing the syllabus
> The Department of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, has resumed a  
> class on Ethiopia's first regular BA program in Ethiopian Sign  
> Language and Deaf Culture today Dec. 2, 2008.  Currently we have  
> well experienced Deaf and hearing teachers who can be capable of  
> holding the courses. Besides, we shall have interpreters in each  
> class. The beginning of the program has become an inspiration to the  
> many people who are involving in the area. The program has got the  
> following as major objectives:
> - To train sign language teachers who are able to teach language  
> courses at the secondary and tertiary level
> - Train sign linguists who can conduct research in Ethiopian Sign  
> Language in order to promote the use, status and functions the  
> language.
> - Train sign language interpreters for the various government  
> organizations as well as NGO's that deal with the life of the deaf  
> in one way or another.
> - Promote collaborative research on Ethiopian Sign Language with  
> other institutions of higher learning both locally and  
> internationally etc.
> Besides, be informed that in all courses of linguistics SW is  
> included as one means of teaching how to write signs. I will be  
> informing all my students to join the SW list and learn better. I  
> hope they will be contacting you soon.
> We hope that this three year program will be extended to the Masters  
> levels soon. In addition we would like to invite all concerned  
> readers to take a stake in this process.
> Best Regards,
> Eyasu

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