kind of a symposium report by Lucy

Ingvild Roald iroald at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 11 16:30:30 UTC 2005

Yes,  I think we should start making the summary of what happened in 


I was very happy that we were able to arange the symposium
I think we needed the time for preparations
I was happy with the school where we were allowed to be
I was happy with the arangements for lunch
I was very happy that we had two so good interpreters
I was happy that we could gather both hearing and deaf people, from a lot of 
countries and langauges
I was not so happy with the way the establishment of a new organisation went 
- we (I) had obviously not done enough beforehand, that needs to be remedied
I was happy with the plenum sessions
I was not so happy with the group seesions - I think that people had very 
different expectations, and that we did not express them clearly enough, so 
that the group work was not as effective as it could be
I was not so happy that we did not get enough time to make a summary - which 
again comes back to the lack of preparations for a possible organisation, 
which stole time from the summary
I was happy that people wanted more such gatherings in the future, and I 
promise that as far as I am concerned with this, I will try to learn from 
the positive and negative experiences of this very first one. Remember, with 
all the different countries, all the differences in language and signing 
skills, all the differences in experiences with SignWriting, all the 
differences in everyday jobs - we still got a great time and learnt a lot, 
and did make new connections.

As for the spesific questions:

 >1. What is the exact number of participants and what countries did they
>represent? (I've got a list but it's incomplete or out of date, perhaps).

That question must be answered by Kathleen or Sara

>2. What about the European SignWriter Organisation? Has it been already
>established? Was it a SW or ESWO symposium at all?

The European SignWriter Organisation has not yet been establihed. There is a 
group, consisting of Shane and myself, who will make the neccessary 
paperwork so that everyone concerned can have their say before the actual 
establishment. So for now, we have a 'tentative ESWO'. We actually agreed 
that we did want the ESWO, but that more work needed to be done before it 
was established.
The purpose of such an organisation would be:
to help making network
to help organising conferences/symposiums/workshops
to help find funding

The event in Brussels was a European SignWriters' Symposium - held by a 
number of volounteers but not by any organisation. It was backed by the Deaf 
Action Committee for SignWriting and by the Center for SUtton Movement 

>3. When and where will be the next SW/WSWO symposium?
There seemed to be an agreement that we should have more symposiums. There 
also seemed to be an agreement that people did not want time taken off from 
their holydays or from their regular work, which leaves us with a (long) 
weekend. That might be in the fall of 2006. There are at the moment two 
strong suggestions as to where: London, or Switzerland. This will be put up 
for the posssible participants to decide.

>4. What were the main issues raised by the participants?

Most agreed that SW is a good thing, and that we need it.
Many wanted the programmers to work faster - but they will havve to wait. 
The programmers are working on their own spare time and on private 
donations. Much will be in place by next year.
As for other things, see the different answers that crop up on this list or 
in the MSN-group



>From: "Lucyna Dlugolecka" <deafie at>
>Reply-To: sw-l at
>To: sw-l at
>Subject: [sw-l] kind of a symposium report by Lucy
>Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 16:58:45 +0200
>Hello List!
>Nobody have written a report on the symposium in Brussels yet, so, I, 
>encouraged by Valerie and Stefan, have written some remarks. They look like 
>complaints but they are no complaints, just remarks by a person who didn't 
>really realize what was going on. Hopefully they will be helpful for future 
>Well, before the symposium we were told via e-mail that there would be two 
>workshops groups at the symposium, the spelling one held by Stefan and 
>Sara, and the computer workshops held by Lars and Daniel. Well, I wanted to 
>participate in all the workshops in order to write an article for Swiat 
>Ciszy afterwards. But Kathleen informed me it wouldn't be possible as the 
>spelling and the computer workshops would take place simultaneously, so I 
>wrote to Kathleen I would be sitting on spelling the first day and on 
>computers the second day.
>But on place I saw a list at the white board with my name put under the 
>spelling workshop for both the first and second days. I told Kathleen there 
>was a mistake and she said I should correct it, so I transferred my name to 
>the computer workshop that was to be held the second day.
>Well, the first day I was sitting for the spelling lesson held by Stefan 
>and Sara. I could follow Stefan very well but what he was teaching I and 
>most of other participants were familiar with. Stefan was teaching so as if 
>we were kids. It was valuable in a way as we could see how children are 
>taught but for on the other hand it was boring to us. A film showing the 
>teaching of SW to young pupils would be as valuable too but we (at least I) 
>wanted to discuss some deeper issues.
>Well, the same day there was also a computer workshop by Lars and I went to 
>it as I just wanted to see what would happen there and so on and I hoped to 
>learn something too as some time before I had downloaded Lars' program but 
>it did not work on my computer. But it was so that Lars was speaking 
>English, and one of the ISL interpreters was interpreting Lars but I could 
>not follow him as both the interpreters spoke (signed) a language quite 
>foreign to me. Daniel was sitting there by me and I asked him to do 
>something with Python so that it could work but he failed.
>(at last Lars helped me during a break - thank you, Lars!)
>The next day there was new grouping but I had only a faint idea of it and 
>in order to make sure of the groups (as far as I could understand, there 
>were 3 groups then) I asked Stefan, using some signs and English words, if 
>he was going the teach the basics again. He agreed so I followed another 
>group as I didn't want to exercise the basics in the childish way again.
>I know very well I was not prepared very well for the meeting but the fact 
>was also that I did not know how I should be prepared as it was the first 
>international SL users meeting in my life.
>After all, I hoped for some more written English information as written 
>English is the easiest way to communicate with foreigners. Those who could 
>not understand the International Sign, could hear and understand spoken 
>English and I could not understand either this or that. I felt adrift. (Val 
>told me she was expected to prepare more materials in SW but do not forget: 
>in order to read in ASL you must know ASL!)
>I think, if I participated in the Maastricht congress, I would have some 
>time to learn the International Sign as I did in Brussels but the symposium 
>lasted only 2 days, too few to learn much although the third day, after the 
>symposium, it was much easier to me to communicate with Daniel, Ingvild and 
>Ulrike at the hotel and in the city of Brussels (I met Daniel in the city 
>on Saturday). But communicating in person is not the same yet as 
>"listening" to a speech...
>Stefan, you were confused because I did not ask for more when you saw my 
>signs written incorrect. Well, it was during the break and I did not want 
>to take your time, I know we all were tired, more or less. Most of you came 
>from Maastricht, some (including me) did not sleep very well at that hotel 
>in Groot Bijgaarden and some few (especially me) came from afar, by air and 
>I did not felt very well after the flight, especially after the flight from 
>Brussels to Warsaw, unfortunately.
>And now I have a problem.
>I have promised my boss to write an article about the symposium for the 
>Swiat Ciszy magazine. In order to do it I need your help (or does anyone 
>want to be a co-author of it?)
>1. What is the exact number of participants and what countries did they
>represent? (I've got a list but it's incomplete or out of date, perhaps).
>2. What about the European SignWriter Organisation? Has it been already
>established? Was it a SW or ESWO symposium at all?
>3. When and where will be the next SW/WSWO symposium?
>4. What were the main issues raised by the participants?
>I would be grateful if you answered these questions in brief. I may have 
>some more questions later.
>GG 3618151 SMS +48505273292   MSN deafie at

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