Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Jan 7 05:27:23 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 6, 2006

Now that Cherie and Donna, at the Georgia School for the Deaf, have  
initiated a SignWriting study, it is the first Residential School for  
the Deaf in the US to try least in one classroom...

To explain, SignWriting is used in schools in the USA, such as Hodgin  
Elementary School in New Mexico, but Hodgin is not a Residential  
School for the is a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program inside  
a hearing school...mainstreamed I believe is the term...

And perhaps Georgia School for the Deaf is not all residential  
either, but it is still a School for the Deaf. Generally there are  
two in each state in the have SignWriting used, even  
experimentally, at a School for the Deaf is very important, I think,  
for getting acceptance from the Deaf Community later...If Deaf  
schools (not just mainstreamed programs) accept SignWriting then we  
are reaching more of the Deaf Community...

Do you agree with this, Stuart? If more Deaf Residential Schools  
adopted SignWriting it might gain more acceptance later? That is why  
it would be so great if we could encourage more residential schools I  
think...Val ;-)

On Jan 6, 2007, at 8:06 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> 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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