Kelly Jo - Canadian Association?

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Sun Jan 7 04:06:43 UTC 2007

It has been my experience (and for understandable reasons) that hearing 
advocates of SignWriting are often resisted. For example, one Deaf man 
I met was very resistant when I mentioned SignWriting. He commented 
that he had met these hearing people who tried to encourage him to use 
the system. But then Philip and I talked with him and explained the 
system Deaf to Deaf. It made a big difference for him to see Deaf 
people who championed the system. So, with all due respect to hearing 
people (and to Valerie who invented the system) and to all the other 
hearing people on this list who are our valuable allies, I think that 
it pays to have Deaf advocates lead the charge where possible. That 
way, the system cannot be put down as a hearing-imposed system or some 
other such excuse. :)

Now, I by no means am saying, Kelly, that you shouldn't advocate for 
the system. I just suggest that you try a different tack. Perhaps use 
it around Deaf people until you identify Deaf people who are open to 
the idea and curious enough to explore it more. As they become more 
convinced, together as a team, work to convince other Deaf of its 
value. By building this kind of network, you will be better able to 
overcome the resistance that some have toward the system because it 
will no longer be a hearing-Deaf issue. If you let them push for it but 
you simply provide some of the linguistic support that you have through 
your education and skills, that will be a valuable way to do it.



On Jan 6, 2007, at 19:47, K.J. Boal wrote:

> Thanks Shane,
> I'm planning on doing that when I can, but I've talked to some of the 
> leaders of the Deaf community here (e.g., the chair of Deafness 
> Studies at the University of Alberta), and they have been very 
> negative about SignWriting.  Without their support, it's definitely 
> going to be an uphill battle!
> Thanks again,
> Kelly Jo
>> From: "Shane Gilchrist O hEorpa" <shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at>
>> Reply-To: sw-l at
>> To: sw-l at
>> Subject: [sw-l] Kelly Jo - Canadian Association?
>> Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007 19:59:34 +0000
>> Kelly Jo,
>> another possibiliy here is...
>> you could go and set up a Canadian Association for Sign Writing - or
>> something like that.
>> Some of us have set up European SignWriters Organisation (some ll say
>> SignWriting) in Brussels to support the development of SW in Europe -
>> we are being slow but more and more people are picking up on SW. Our
>> first ESWO symopsium did lead to more schools getting involved - and
>> have impressed the Japanese people!
>> It will take time but you will get there - just get a few deaf
>> teachers/lecturers together in Canada, say Western Canada and the rest
>> will be good.
>> Shane @ ESWO
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