A Deaf perspective

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Mar 29 02:12:13 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 28, 2004

Dear SW List, and Adam!
I think it is a great idea to re-introduce ourselves to the List....

Thank you for starting the introductions, Adam. Your background as a
born-deaf person, and your accomplishments are truly admirable. There
are other Deaf people like yourself on our List...and I hope they will
also speak up and share their stories of their childhoods. I do not
believe anyone who is born hearing can even imagine what the
frustrations must be like for you. Thank you for helping us with your
SignWriting of ASL... you are clearly skilled in ASL and that is a

Let me begin the hearing-person's introductions - ha! I was born
hearing, in an all-hearing family, in 1951, in New York City. There is
no deafness in my family. I was born with a genetic illness however,
related to the atopic gene, and that has influenced by life. I was in
professional ballet training at age 10, and at age 15 I started writing
dances for my own notes, which later became Sutton DanceWriting...and
the rest you all know...You can read more about my life on these pages:

History of SignWriting

Val's Autobiography

OK...Who else will tell us your backgrounds? smile...Val ;-)


On Mar 28, 2004, at 5:44 PM, Adam Frost wrote:

> Hey all and Stephen, Bill, Daniel, James and Judy, Angus, and Dando,
> This is just a question that I have been asking myself as I have been
> reading the messages recently posted on the list. This is more
> specifically
> for the seven named, but others can answer if they want to. Are you
> Deaf,
> Hearing, Deaf later in life, etc...? The reason I am asking is because
> it
> would help me understand what you are talking about and from what
> point of
> view. No, I don't have anything against you if you are anything other
> than
> Deaf. I actually commend you for wanting to learn SW and ASL (or which
> ever
> SL).
> I guess since I asked the question, I should answer too. So for those
> of you
> who do not know, I am Deaf from birth. I was raised oral, and then
> learned
> sign in High School when I was 14, or that is what I thought. My mother
> explained to me that she had gotten in contact with my teachers of
> when I
> was young. They had apparently taught me sign when I was very young. I
> was
> lucky that I had sign from birth. But after the age of 6, that all
> stopped.
> I had forgotten it all. I had a somewhat good understanding of English
> before I was 14. But after I learned ASL, everything skyrocketed. My
> grades
> in school went from C's to mostly A's. This made me very interested in
> improving my ASL so that I could improve everything else. I have had
> many
> Deaf tell me that I had to have know ASL my whole life because of the
> way
> that I sign. When I found out that I was taught when I was young, they
> all
> told me an I-told-you-so!
> I don't know if this helps any of you that much, but it will help me
> if some
> of you tell me about yourselves. Thanks in advance.
> Adam
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