[sw-l] introducing SW to Northern Ireland

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Sun Nov 7 06:28:34 UTC 2004


Thanks for that clarification on the use of sign languages in Northern

As you may know, the main sign language certification body in the UK is
CACDP which, it seems, holds examinations in both Irish Sign Language and
British Sign Language. How do learners in Northern Ireland deal with this
limited choice?

Is two-handed fingerspelling used in NI and if so, is it more of a matter of
politics than the actual sign language used?

All very interesting!

Sandy Fleming

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> [mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu]On Behalf Of Shane Gilchrist
> Ó hEorpa
> Sent: 07 November 2004 00:03
> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Subject: RE: [sw-l] introducing SW to Northern Ireland
> Val,
> 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
> Shane
> -----------------
> 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
> http://www.SignWriting.org
> Read & Write Sign Languages
> 2. SignBankSite
> http://www.SignBank.org
> Sign Language Dictionaries
> 3. DanceWritingSite
> http://www.DanceWriting.org
> Read & Write Dance
> 4. MovementWritingSite
> http://www.MovementWriting.org
> Read & Write Movement & Gesture
> 5. SymbolBank On The Web
> www.MovementWriting.org/symbolbank
> Archive For All Symbols

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