Why Sign Writing?
sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Aug 18 20:59:05 UTC 2005
August 18, 2005
On Aug 16, 2005, at 11:01 PM, eyasu tamene wrote:
Dearest Val, all
> I am curius to know new things I think that is way I became
> interested in SW. As to my knowledge Hearing impaired people are
> using the hearing ones. They don't have their own writing system.
> Haven't you every defended saying what if , if they continue using
> the existing writing system? What big challenge of the hearing
> impaired people was resolved as a result of Sign Writing? Weren't
> they comfortable, is it a question of equality....? I would be
> happy if Val of any one in the list become interested in Sign
> Writing to tell me why you became interested.
Hello Eyasu and Everyone!
Great to see all the answers you have received from other List
members! From the moment I saw my first Danish Sign Language
videotape at the University of Copenhagen in 1974, I believed that
Danish Sign Language, and other Sign Languages, are languages that
deserve to be preserved and written, as all languages
deserve...Languages are preserved for future generations, if you read
and write them. And for those who use the language daily, it gives
another form of expression without changing their language...only
enhancing it...But I was pretty much alone in that belief, back in
1974...including the Sign Language researchers I was working
with...they were against writing it too..But years later, when I
returned to Copenhagen, and by that time, SignWriting was being
used...those same researchers told me in a public speech, that they
were glad signed languages can now be written languages...so that was
a good feeling for me...I am glad I didn't give up back then!
So it has been 30 years with controversy at times, but also a great
feeling of joy and accomplishment too...the controversy is
healthy...it means people are thinking about social change...it is a
new way to think...that Sign Languages are written languages
too...That places written Sign Language literature, on the same shelf
with written English or Amharic literature or any spoken language
literature...and that is a new idea for a lot of people...It shifts
the power so that both Deaf and non-deaf cultures are equal on
Here are some pages to read...
History of SignWriting
Valerie Sutton homepage
Questions about SignWriting
Sutton at SignWriting.org
Read & Write Sign Languages
Sign Language Dictionaries
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