Questions about SignWriting

Deaf Action Committee dac at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Apr 28 15:09:16 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
April 28, 2003

On Sunday, April 27, 2003, Jayasu at wrote:
> I have 3 quick questions about sign writing:
> 1.  Does it involve one-way or two way communication?
> 2.  At what age is it introduced?
> 3.  Is it universal? Thanks.

Dear SignWriting List and Jayasu!


1. SignWriting can write BOTH one-way and two-way communication.

(SignWriting is like an alphabet - a way to write any Sign Language in
the world. But people apply it differently around the world. It can be
used to write many people signing together if you wish.)

2. SignWriting is for ANY age group. For exampple, in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, some teachers have used SignWriting with children as young as 5
years old...and they read it very quickly...I believe other countries
have started with 3-year-olds...

3. Is it universal? BOTH YES & NO. The symbols themselves record body
movement, so the symbols are universal and easily read in all cultures.

But the languages the symbols write are NOT universal. There is a
different Sign Language in every country, and SignWriting can write
them all, but it does not change those languages - Each country
determines how they want to use the "universal symbols".

Hope this has helped!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at

1. SignWritingSite
Read & Write Sign Languages

2. SignBankSite
Sign Language Dictionaries

3. DanceWritingSite
Read & Write Dance

4. MovementWritingSite
Read & Write Movement & Gesture

5. The SoulSite
Proceeds Donated to Deaf Literacy

Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
tel: 858-456-0098....fax: 858-456-0020

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