Siv Fosshaug sfosshaug at BLUEWIN.CH
Fri Jul 19 00:10:18 UTC 2002

 Dear James Shepard-Kegl, Charles Butler, Stuart Thiessen, and the others
on the SignWriting list.

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Siv Fosshaug and I am from
Norway, but right now I am working in Switzerland for Penny Boyes Braem
at the Sign language research center in Zurich. I have been working there
since October last year. I hold a MA-degree, and I finished it last February.
I did research about the international deaf sport in an empowerment perspective
on three different levels (individual, group and society)and I connected
it with theories about deaf culture, sign language, and identity. I worked
for about 3 years with that at the University of Sport and Physical Education
in Oslo, Norway. My first education is sport teacher and then later I added
with a one year study about sign language at Oslo University before finishing
my MA-study. As you probably know Penny has been working with a project
about SignWriting in Zurich, and I have joined the project since October.

Penny's and my plans were to try to find you, among others Charles Butler
and James Shepard-Kegl, and your poster at the Deafway II, so I could meet
other SignWriting people, discuss with you about SignWriting, and show you
our new published book of Noah written in SignWriting. I am happy to know
that I am not the only one who also had problems to find SignWriting people
at Deaf Way II, because I looked everywhere for you and the booth and posters
about SignWriting. I was also busy the first days at Deaf Way II then I
had to practice with the Norwegian Sign Language interpreters for my presentation
that I gave on last Thursday. I discovered on Wednesday evening that the
presentation about education in Nicaragua was on Monday, so I unfortunately
missed it!!!

Anyway, now my husband, Michel Laubacher (we just got married on June 22nd!!!Smile)
and I are at Valerie's beautiful home in San Diego. We have been here for
some days and tomorrow we are leaving back to Was.Dc and then Swizterland...
I have talked with Valerie about my frustation at Deaf Way II that I could
find any people that are involved in SignWriting. Valerie suggested to me
that I should write this email, so you know me from now on. I just want
to let you know that my English is not perfect, and I am also Deaf. But
I try my best and want to try to keep in touch with you in SignWriting List
and join the discussion about SignWriting in the future, although my written
English is limited.

If some of you are interested in getting the Noah book you can get in touch
with Penny. Please have a look in The English site is under
construction, but my husband, Michel, will work on it when we get back to
Switzerland. So quite soon it is possible to order the book of Noah. If
you want, you can either send an email to gsmedia at or a fax to
+41 (0)1 312 13 63. The book of David will also be finished in September.
Accompanying both books are two videtapes with beautiful stories of Noah
and David. The stories are quite easy to understand since the stories are
written for children and includes a lot of role and description of people,
nature etc. I really suggest you should have a look at the books and videtapes,
although it is signed and written in Swiss-German Sign Language. Valerie
understood almost everything. She has also helped us a lot with our project
and as well Stefan Woehrmann in Germany. So a big thanks to you both. We
have started experimenting with something new...namely writing mouthings,
mouth gestures, and facial expressions etc. Just so you know we have tried
a bit different, but that is for the research / experimental matter.

Valerie phoned Penny this morning and we decided that there is a need to
focus more about facial expression in the future and hope that you also
will join us! I have also seen the wonderful job Valerie has done with SignBank
2002. You can't believe how much time she has worked on it. You have really
something exciting to look forward to!!!! It is marvellous job of Valerie!!!!
Lately, Valerie hasn't been so well, so that's why you haven't heard anything
from her in SignWriting List lately. She was very sick for two weeks for
two weeks ago, but now it is better. She doesn't have the same energy as
before and needs more relaxing. So that's why she has decided to focus on
SignBank this summer and get back to SignWriting List this fall when she
is finished with SignBank. I just want to inform you about that, but we
can continue keeping in touch and discussing with each other in SignWriting
List without Valerie for a while. Sure?

You are completely right, we have to make booth and posters at the next
big deaf event like Deaf Way or something like that and try to make sure
that SignWriting will be more visible in the future.

Have a nice summer,


Siv Fosshaug 

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