Charles Butler chazzer3 at EROLS.COM
Fri Jul 19 10:21:24 UTC 2002

I think for Deaf Way III (which I presume WILL happen at some point in the
future) we will have to make a point of having a booth on SignWriting.  We
will need samples of Noah, David, stuff from the Sign Bible site, samples
from other books, our dictionaries, and representatives from all over the
world.  The only thing that we missed at DeafWay was "central" visibility.

>>From what each of us has said, we had representatives from Norway,
Nicaragua, the U.S., Brazil, Swiss-German, Colombia, and Venezuela, and we
had writing samples in all of those languages and more.

So many of the presentations on "sign language literature" were such natural
fields for sign writing, and there wasn't a single Deaf person who could not
read the posters I had put together within a minute or so.

I don't have the memory on my machine to run SignBank so it will have to
wait for me.  I have the software but not the hardware to run it right now.
It will have to wait for my next upgrade, which may happen sooner rather
than later as I just started a new editorial job.  Meanwhile, I'm moving to
another state, and have so much stuff to give away in order to fit into the
new house that it will be months before I get to the bottom of it all.

Everyone, I encourage you in your work, and hope we can get together at the
next DeafWay conference.  I think I better start a savings account just for
the occasion so that I can be there every day and make sure that the
organizers put a lounge together for us Sign Writers.

One step at a time.  Maybe we should put together our own convention and
invite everyone else instead?  Now wouldn't that be a challenge.  Putting
together all of the convention materials in Sign Writing would certainly
show its facility for expressing ideas, as soon as we have software which is
quick to use.  (it will happen).


----- Original Message -----
From: Siv Fosshaug <sfosshaug at BLUEWIN.CH>
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 8:10 PM
Subject: Re: DeafWay

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
I did research about the international deaf sport in an empowerment
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Lately, Valerie hasn't been so well, so that's why you haven't heard
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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