handicapped child - able to listen and understand - unable to speak

Jason Hopkins codenosher at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 15 15:09:45 UTC 2006


Do you have a source that I can look up about the one to one correspondence between the images in the talking blankets and the sign language?  I'm doing a paper on writing systems of sign languages and that may prove to be an interesting note.

Jason Hopkins

----- Original Message ----
From: Charles Butler <chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM>
To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:56:08 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] handicapped child - able to listen and understand - unable to speak

I would like to point out for historical purposes that the Sign Language of the Plains Indians was not developed for deaf people but for hearing people of different tribes.  It was specifically created so that people could learn a common language even if their spoken languages differed and it became the "lingua franca" of the Plains Native peoples for more than 500 years.  Though they did not write their language down, the pictographic system used on the Navajo/Dine "talking" blankets had a one-to-one correspondence with the sign language.  
  Chinese, as well, is a writing system with multiple spoken languages reading the same "symbol" for the spoken word.  One can learn written language without necessarily agreeing on how it is "spoken."  
  Sign Writing can help bridge that gap for those whose first language is sign language, or whose first language is a spoken language  which for any number of reasons they cannot speak clearly.  It is one way to start with symbols and work to the primary writing system of a given country, without giving up the primary sign language or its unique grammar in the process.
  So, far from being a "stop gap", I believe that Sign Writing can be liberating to help open up minds to a way to express their beautiful languages.
  Charles Butler

Valerie Sutton <signwriting at MAC.COM> wrote:
    From: Fernando Capovilla <capovila at usp.br>
  Date: November 13, 2006 2:14:42 PM PST
  To: Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com>
  Cc: List SignWriting <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>, Capovilla Fernando <capovilla at usp.br>
  Subject: 2 parts: handicapped child & 4th edition
  Reply-To: capovilla at usp.br

  Dear Valerie, Stefan, Charles and colleagues,

  Thank you for the message.

  This message has 2 parts. Part 1 refers to your message (Stefan's boy). Part 2
  brings an update on very good news for SW.

  Part 1: Over the last 20 years I have had the opportunity of working with
  cerebral-palsied children, many of whom deaf or blind, and some deaf-blind. I
  have accumulated extensive experience in Augmentative and Alternative
  Communication techniques, devices, and theoretical models. I have developed a
  number of procedures for literacy acquisition that have proved quite effective
  indeed. In case this boy were deaf, I would definitely recommend Sign Language
  and Sign Writing. But since he is hearing but merely anartric, I would not
  recommend neither of them, unless he is in close contact with a Sign  Language
  community. Even if he were in that contact, since he is hearing, I would
  recommend close contact with a hearing community as his primary language
  source. I would like to suggest a visit to ISAAC, the International Society for
  Augmentative and Alternative Communication. But I would definitely discourage
  semantographic systems such as Blissymbols because the main focus must be using
  AAC techniques as a temporary resource until literacy acquisition takes hold.
  The ultimate objective must be assistid writing-talking system, such as our
  Brazilian NoteVox or the American system used by S. Hawking. I am sure there
  must be a German version. Best regards for you and Stefan and Charles,
  Fernando Capovilla

  Part 2: Dear Valerie, I'd like to take the opportunity to communicate that:
  1) the 3rd edition of our Libras dictionary was distributed to 33,000 deaf
  students of all 27 Brazilian states last March (this has given  SW even greater
  2) we are wortking hard on the conclusion of the preparation of the Dictionary
  4th edition with additional 2,500 brand new signs, complete with SW rendering
  of each sign. All the sign illustrations have been made, all the 2,500 new
  signs have been written in SW, all signs have been described (sublexical
  structure). Now I am working hard on the morphologic analysis of the whole
  corpus of 7,000 signs. I have identified 20 specific molecular morphemes, in
  addition to more than 200 molar ones, and I am describing the morphemic
  composition of each of the 7,000 signs, sign by sign. Patience,  perseverance,
  endurance, and love. The good news is that if everybody did love the 1st
  edition as they did, I am positive they will indeed fall in love with this
  brand new unabridged and awesome and precious 4th edition. Of course, I will
  send you a copy as soon as it gets published, which must happen by the middle
  of 2007. When that happens I would love if you could post the good news in your
  SignWriting site, ok? Thank you very much, in advance. 
  Much love, 
  Fernando Capovilla 
  fernando.capovilla at pesquisador.cnpq.br


  Citando Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com>:

  SignWriting List
  November 12, 2006

  Charles Butler wrote:
  I believe that part of Fernando Capovilla's work in Sao Paulo is  
  specifically addressing this kind of situation.  He is working not  
  only with the Deaf but with people with speech impediments and  
  specific physical handicaps where speech is difficult.


  Hello Charles and Stefan....
  Yes...that is true. Dr. Fernando Capovilla has used  SignWriting and  
  also works with multiply-handicapped people....

  Perhaps you can write to Dr. Capovilla, Stefan?...

  You can read more about his work at the University of Sao Paulo here:

  SignWriting in Brazil

  Val ;-)




  SignWriting List
  November 12, 2006

  Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
  Excuse me,  if somebody feels that this question is not subject to  
  SignWriting  ... I need your support. Last week I  met a 5 year  
  old boy in my classroom–  He is  physically handicapped. He can   
  hear and understand spoken language but is unable to speak a  
  single word and this will not change in the future. So he uses  
  gestures as far as possible. Now we are in the process to develop  
  ideas – what kind of education – program would fit his needs at  
  best? He is able to understand questions and to follow  
  instructions given in spoken language at his level of age without  
  any problem. So he is smart ... smile! In the long run he probably  
  will choose to use kind of computer software – to type his  
  comments on a screen –  but will this support his need for  
  everyday – communication? His mother has heard about   
  GebaerdenSchrift (SignWriting ) and she decided to check out  
  whether this could support her and her son to improve their  
  communcation. Believe it or not but this smart little boy was able  
  to identify the signs of a two pages GebaerdenSchrift-Document  
  after only a 45  minute session!  And even when I wrote some sign- 
  names at the blackboard he could understand and sign immediately  
  the idea : written names  - well of course written  SignLanguage.  
  I am wondering  wether anybody who reads this message knows of a  
  child in an almost parallel situation. Would be great to get some  
  enriching ideas, comments, weblinks ... Thanks for your attention!  
  Stefan ;-)


  Hello Stefan and SW List!
  Thank you for this message, Stefan...It is a good message for this  
  List...Using SignWriting with children who are not deaf, is still  
  on topic for this List for sure! So please keep writing to us, to  
  tell us of your progress with this young man...

  There have been other teachers who have used SignWriting with  
  students who are not deaf, but who use Sign Language for other  
  reasons, such as being mute, or people who are mentally-handicapped  
  and cannot speak. I also know of teachers using SignWriting with  
  deaf children who are also  multiply-handicapped, such as autistic  
  deaf children. It is my understanding that in all cases,  
  SignWriting was a useful tool. I will try to gather together the  
  email messages sent to me on this subject, and get permission from  
  the teachers to post their experiences and get back to you...

  I can see that you are already making progress with your student,  
  Stefan, so please keep us informed...I am very interested as to  
  your progress...

  Maybe later I can create a link on the Teacher's Forum, for working  
  with SignWriting and the multiply handicapped...


  But to do this, we would need permission from the parents of the  
  students, to be able to post information as to their progress...

  Thanks again  for sharing and keep posting messages!


  Val ;-)

  Valerie Sutton
  Sutton at SignWriting.org



  Fernando Capovilla, Ph.D., Livre Docente
  Professor Associado, IP, Universidade de São Paulo
  Av. Prof. Mello Moraes 1721 São Paulo  SP 05508-900

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