Success!! SignWriting with DeafBlind...

Valerie Sutton Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Aug 28 00:06:46 UTC 2002

SignWriting List
August 27, 2002

Nancy -
Wow...I really admire your pioneering spirit. And I admire your
Deaf-Blind student too. Please tell her that we are really impressed!

Years ago we discussed raising SignWriting with dots for the
Deaf-Blind, but I was told by teachers of the Deaf-Blind that it
would not work. I suspect you are proving them wrong now, with other

Which just goes to show that it is the students who teach the
teachers...and it can't hurt to try something new...

Please document your experiences, Nancy - It could be used by
researchers later - Maybe your student can document her feelings
about SignWriting with you - it may be a blessing for other
Deaf-Blind students later!

Val ;-)


>From: NCIcewolf at
>Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 18:23:55 EDT
>Subject: Re: Success!! SignWriting with DeafBlind...
>To: Sutton at
>Hi again!
>Let's see...I use a variety of methods.  One is to write the English
>words and sign symbols with color glue.  I don't know if that is the
>right word for it, and enlarge the pictures.  She touches the card,
>and puts it close to her face.  She has some sight, like she can see
>some shapes.  I try to add to her vocabulary book everyday and write
>alot to her using symbols and signwriting.  When I can, I try to look
>up the signwriting symbols, or make it up if we are in another class
>and she has to wait or something.  I bring a erase board and write
>what she is doing.  She always puts the paper or board to her face.
>But the raised glue works the best.  It takes her awhile to try and
>figure out the sign on her own, but I'm patient.  I use the thick
>black marker alot too.  The computer is my next challenge with her.
>We have a special keyboard, but I'm trying to figure how to teach it
>for her.  I might just let her play the first time with it.  So far
>so good!  I love my job!!
>Nancy Cole
>>SignWriting List
>>August 27, 2002
>>Hello Nancy and Everyone!
>>You are the first Deaf teacher to report to us, that the Deaf-Blind
>>can read and use SignWriting! Congratulations on this. If your
>>student is truly Blind, how does she read the SignWriting?  By
>>feeling the page? Thanks for your information, Nancy!
>>Please write back and tell us more about how you are teaching your
>>DeafBlind student...
>>Val ;-)
>>At 7:58 PM -0600 8/26/02, Nancy Cole wrote:
>>>I don't know if this will work or not, but I wanted to share an
>>>experience I had today with one of my students.  She is Deafblind,
>>>and I have been teaching her signwriting since the first day of
>>>school last week.  She is already in 9th grade, and has CHARGE
>>>Syndrome.  I decided to use signwriting because she reads symbols to
>>>help her with English words.  Her language development is very
>>>delayed, and I was desparate to help her.  Today, for the first
>>>time, after working again on the Goldilocks coloring workbook (which
>>>she really loves) she looked at the B handshape on it's side and
>>>signed "know."  She got so excited, as I did!  This is an absolute
>>>first for her, and last night her mother told me she is finally
>>>trying to write to express herself!   Anyways, I thought I would
>>>share this with you all!
>>>Have a super week!!
>>>Nancy Cole
>>>Teacher for the Deaf/HH

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