Workshop on Deafness issues -

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Jul 6 01:40:13 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
July 5, 2006

On Jul 5, 2006, at 5:22 PM, Jkahleguil at wrote:

> Dear Valerie,
> I am a member of your distribution list but I have never introduced  
> myself.

Hello! Happy to meet you ;-)

> Disability is not my primary field.  I have 23 years of personal  
> experience and
> 5 years of field experience as volunteer in the field of  
> disability.  My
> daughter is disabled with cerebral palsy.    I created a non-profit  
> organization
> called United for the Love of Children in Washington DC in order to  
> join the
> networks of people fighting for people with disabilities.

This is admirable work! The world is fortunate you are contributing  
time and energy in this way...

> The organization is operated by volunteer professionals (World Bank  
> and IMF
> staff, and the African Diaspora).  We cover all kinds of  
> disabilities, mainly in
> Africa.  So far we have helped secure the only school of the Deaf  
> in Cote
> d'Ivoire, establish an organization for mothers of disabled  
> children,  supplied
> the school of mentally ill children with school materials, among  
> others.  We
> just completed a survey in Cote d'Ivoire intended to assess the  
> needs of people
> with disabilities and make some recommendations to Government  
> authorities...

Perhaps you noticed that we have some List members from the African  
continent? South Africa and Ethiopia are the two countries with a few  
people using SignWriting...

SignWriting in South Africa

SignWriting in Ethiopia

But having said that, I realize full well that Cote d'Ivoire is VERY  
far away from these countries...The African continent is huge!

> There is only one school for Deaf people in Cote d'Ivoire and the  
> top level is
> 5th grade.  The issues are similar to those of developing countries.

Yes. I understand. I am glad there is one school!

> We are planning a workshop in August in Cote d'Ivoire to raise  
> awareness about
> deafness and hearing impairment.  The objective of the workshop is  
> to identify
> the number of deaf people in the capital city, assess their needs,  
> and then
> design and implement a training program that will involve parents  
> of deaf
> children, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and potential teachers, local and
> international.


>  The official language in Cote d'Ivoire is French and they use ASL.

Interesting mix!! It must be a unique dialect of ASL, since the  
spoken languages of a country usually have some indirect influence on  
the signing in any would be fun to write the  
differences of ASL in Cote d'Ivoire and ASL in the SignWriting!

> The school
> of the Deaf and the two associations for the Deaf are involved in  
> the program.
> The President of the Republic will be solicited... The workshop  
> would involve
> high ranking officials, including the media.

Wow. This is very exciting. Congratulations!

> I know this is a short notice.  But I thought this could be an  
> opportunity to
> introduce signwriting.  I wanted to bring this to your attention  
> and see if this
> is something that you would be interested in.

What is the date this is happening in August? Do you know how many  
teachers, Deaf people, and school administrators will be present? I  
could send you some donated materials, which you could distribute  
during the meeting, if you wish... it is called the SignWriting  
Literacy Project. We donate materials to schools if the teachers are  
willing to give us documented feedback on the web...So write again  
with the dates...

I am printing materials this month for the French-Belgian SignWriting  
Literacy Project, and I could print your materials at the same time.  
Do you know of any teacher, right now, in the Cote d'Ivoire, who  
would want to participate? If so, there are two forms they need to  
fill out. Here is the web information:

SignWriting Literacy Project

Letter of Request

Teacher's Web Report 1

> PS:  I have been a World Bank employee for 18 years in Administration.
> Best regards,
> Jeannette Kah Le Guil

Wonderful. Happy to meet you, Jeannette, and thanks for writing!!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at

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