common criticisms of signwriting?

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Nov 24 16:20:30 UTC 2009

SignWriting List
November 24, 2009

On Nov 24, 2009, at 4:41 AM, Trevor Jenkins wrote:
> Our post Post-Modern society could well see a total decline in  
> textuality; we've already seen the reduction of much intelligent  
> discourse in politics, etc as Postman suggested.Pessemistic I know  
> but I fear this result is the conclusion. How this will affect D/ 
> deaf people with their general literacy skills and their specific  
> need of sign language notations remains to be seen. I am not hopeful.

Hi Trevor -
I am just the opposite....very optimistic!

The thing to realize is that trends change. Every other generation, it  
seems, Deaf children are born into a different world in the deaf  
education trends...first schools are oral, then they move to  
manualism, then they move back to oralism, then they move back to sign  
language seems to fluctuate frequently...but  
throughout... Deaf people are resilient and survive and move forward  
with their lives....and each time the trend changes, some things are  
different than before, and there are subtle improvements, even though  
it may be hard to see those improvements...

In other words, it is true that reading and writing and even  
intelligent discourse is all changing...texting is not the same as  
writing a book on an old typewriter from the 1920's, but people are  
still intelligent and invent new ways to feel fulfilled and to grow...

So do not dispair...the most important thing is to remain optimistic  
and choose to find new avenues for communication...that is why I work  
with SignWriting and I do not throw out the visual nature of the  
writing system, just because it does not fit the norms of computer  
programs today...because sign languages are visual in nature, and to  
lose capturing the language as it really is would be a shame...That is  
why I feel we need to work towards new goals that will expand our  
computing and thinking in new ways...

Anyway...I hope we can move on now, to a new thread as well... How  
about a new thread:  "Common Inspiring Stories from SignWriting  

Here is an inspiring story:

One thing I am working on today is to create the Group 7 Handshape  
pages...for Adam's animated you know, Adam has been working  
on a big project, while he goes to school full time at CSUN...

Here are Adam's animated GIFs to date...but tonight I hope to post  
Group 7...Yeah! Thank you, Adam, for this wonderful work...

Lessons in ISWA Symbols

As soon as we have Groups 1-10 in animated GIFs, I am going to co- 
author a book with Adam called "SignWriting Hand Symbols"...that uses  
Adam's photos to show each handshape in 6 palm all the  
hands of the ISWA will be documented...on the web, and in book  
form...and I am thinking we could also create short videos for YouTube  
too...using the animated GIFs...a great way to teach SignWriting...


And thanks to you too Trevor, and to all of you, for continuing to be  
interested and to use SignWriting...Do you have any inspiring stories  
to share?

Val ;-)


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