Kelly Jo - Canadian Association?

K.J. Boal kjoanne403 at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 7 04:59:37 UTC 2007

Hi Stuart,
I understand your point and I thought of it myself a long time ago.  I'd 
really like to develop a network of Deaf SignWriters and SW advocates.  I've 
already talked to a Deaf couple who are interested but I don't think they've 
been encouraging other Deaf to use it (not that they've really learned it 
well themselves as yet).  My main problem is I don't know many Deaf anymore, 
I've kind of been out of the community for a while.  Still, thanks for 
confirming what I suspected - SW won't be accepted until Deaf start 
advocating it for themselves.

>From: "Stuart Thiessen" <sw at>
>Reply-To: sw-l at
>To: sw-l at
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Kelly Jo - Canadian Association?
>Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007 22:06:43 -0600
>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 
>>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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