[sw-l] introducing SW to Northern Ireland

Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at FRANCISMAGINN.ORG
Sun Nov 7 00:02:35 UTC 2004


thank you for your welcome.

yes, Pat Matthews is doing a PhD on SignWriting - I believe Helena Saunders
*did* introduce SignWriting to Ireland but I am not sure about this - as i
am a born-again convert (if we can use that together!) on this (by the way,
Matthews isnt one of our leaders - hes just a Deaf academic :-) )

as for Northern Ireland, we have two national sign languages - ISL (as a
large number of people went to Dublin schools - and I was educated in a
school in Belfast started by the Dublin schools as the feeder school for
Dublin schools) and NISL (Northern Ireland Sign Language)

NISL is what many people refer to as "BSL" - but just because NISL use the
BSL alphabet and a lot of BSL signs doesnt mean its BSL itself - as it does
have a LARGE number of ASL signs in NISL (thanks to Francis Maginn and some
others who brought ASL over from Galladuet 100 years ago) and also a large
number of ISL signs - of course our local signs too.

There is a big debate in Northern Ireland about whether we can use the term
NISL or BSL - but my work, the SLCB, will use the term NISL - in sensitive
areas, we will say NISL (NI-BSL) - its a very political issue - as some
people want to keep "British" therefore devoiding themselves of their local
identity and local heritage which is a very sad one as our old signs are
disappearing FAST - and it was England who discouraged us from using them in
the first place.

the Flanders - theyre wonderful people - and very intelligent just like the
people in Northern Ireland - it is like being home again :D



Dear SignWriting List, and Shane!
Welcome to the SignWriting List, Shane. We are glad to have you with us ;-)

And it is wonderful, to think, that teachers from Belgium inspired you to
try SignWriting... I am doing a web page about Belgium this weekend...There
are several Flemish projects now, and several members of our List are from
Flanders. I bet you know some of them....;-)

We also have several List members from the UK, in England, I believe. And in
Dublin, Ireland, SignWriting is used at Trinity College, in the Deaf Studies
program there. One of the Deaf leaders in Ireland, Patrick Matthews, has
written several books now, teaching Irish Sign Language to hearing people,
and he uses SignWriting throughout the books, teaching the grammar of ISL.
Patrick came to visit me here in California several years ago, to work
through his plans for his books...which will be a series of books in time,
and are not completed yet.

I realize that Northern Ireland's signed languages are probably not the same
as the signed languages used in Ireland, but are they BSL? What languages to
you speak in Northern Ireland? smile...

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

1. SignWritingSite
Read & Write Sign Languages

2. SignBankSite
Sign Language Dictionaries

3. DanceWritingSite
Read & Write Dance

4. MovementWritingSite
Read & Write Movement & Gesture

5. SymbolBank On The Web
Archive For All Symbols

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