[sw-l] NAD Update

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Tue Jul 13 03:40:36 UTC 2004

I don't know if any of you went to NAD this year in Kansas City. If you 
were, I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to meet you and talk with you. I 
was there as a delegate for the Iowa Association of the Deaf. I did not 
have as much opportunity as I would have liked to talk about 
SignWriting, but I did have several opportunities to talk with other 
delegates and with a member of the ASLTA board. Most whom I talked with 
were open to the concept but either had never heard of it or had 
misconceptions. I passed out SignWriting handouts to several of them and 
showed some of the Goldilocks books (Thanks, Valerie for the materials !!!!)

One person even told me that her son had seen this and it was some kind 
of European written language that was going to merge everything 
together.  I tried to correct that misunderstanding, but she was quite 
adamant that she was right about it.  Are our European SW friends doing 
something we don't know about <GRIN>?  I am just teasing, of course, 
(It's in my nature as a Thiessen -- small spoken language joke there) 
but it was interesting to see that misperception.

I wonder if there are other "myths" about SignWriting.  Should we put a 
FAQ or something together that specifically shoots down myths?? I would 
be happy to put something together if you all would be willing to help 
me with some of your experiences with people's misunderstandings.  What 
myths or false ideas about SignWriting have you heard?  What 
misunderstandings have people told you?  Like --- "So SignWriting is 
like Chinese" (but it's really more of a featural writing system than a 
concept-based [logographic] writing system.)

My friend, Philip, also had a chance to talk with people about it and we 
feel very positive about the reaction.  One friend of his agreed with 
him that if the grassroots really knew about the potential of 
SignWriting, they would be very excited about it.  So we just need to 
keep on the process of educating our deaf communities about the benefits 
of SW.

The next NAD conference will be in New Orleans probably the second week 
in July 2006. We have two advance tickets for NAD and hope to prepare 
for a booth at that NAD convention to promote SignWriting more 
vigorously.  We may do a trial run at our state convention next year in 



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