Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

K.J. Boal kjoanne403 at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 7 20:18:55 UTC 2007

Thanks for the clarification, Cherie.  I'm expecting those exact problems 
here, so a copy of your proposal sounds great - thanks!  If April is too 
early for me to come, I understand.  However, I was also hoping that maybe 
your school would be interested in setting up a pen-pal program with a 
school up here... (maybe NM would be interested too).  Of course, I would 
need to actually get a project going here before that would be worthwhile, 
so again, something to maybe keep in mind for the future...  We'll talk more 
as the time gets closer!
Thanks again,

>From: "Cherie Wren" <cwterp at YAHOO.COM>
>Reply-To: sw-l at
>To: sw-l at
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 08:01:14 -0800 (PST)
>That is what we are hoping to do at GSD, a research project.  The 
>administration won't let us do it formally during "instructional" time, so 
>we are using the 'fun Friday' time.  Hopefully we will get enough results 
>to be able to move us into "prime time".  I have the research proposal that 
>I wrote at school-- I will send you a copy of that probably Tuesday.  (I 
>will be off site tomorrow)  I have two Deaf people here at school 
>interested.  Unfortunately neither is a teacher.  I'm hoping that when the 
>kids start showing results, they will be a little more open minded about 
>the source.  I am also trying to get my two Deaf  non teachers to actually 
>get caught using SW.  In order to use SW during the friday time, we are 
>correlating it with the Georgia Performance Standard (Official curriculum 
>from the state) so that we can prove the kids are still learning what they 
>need while doing this at the same time.  Once the kids are using it, I plan 
>to set them up with SignText and Sign P!
>  uddle on the computers in the dorm.  Lots of Deaf folks there to see and 
>get interested...
>All of this is why, Kelly Jo, I am a little reluctant to set a date for you 
>to come.  We haven't even started yet!  ::smile:: We are trying to work 
>around people who see this as something that will be taking the place of 
>instruction in English.
>----- Original Message ----
>From: Stuart Thiessen <sw at>
>To: sw-l at
>Sent: Sunday, January 7, 2007 1:20:11 AM
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>Here in Iowa, we have tried to mention SignWriting to both our local
>mainstream program and the state school for the Deaf. I say "mention"
>because we are still trying to figure out the best plan for introducing
>it to the schools. Part of the challenge is that they have pressure to
>achieve English literacy. For many of them, ASL Literacy seems like
>they are going in the wrong direction, so they don't want to "waste"
>their time. So part of making SW attractive to them (and many others)
>involves having the "proof" that ASL literacy will lead to English
>literacy. Even better would be "proof" that ASL literacy will either
>lead to faster English literacy or better English literacy than the
>various other programs available that do not involve ASL literacy.
>Again, we would have to define what "proof" means. What we might call
>"proof" might not be the same as they would call "proof". So that is
>all part of the process too.
>So, (in stating the obvious) I think this is one of the high priority
>research items that SW advocates need to develop is something that
>shows how SL literacy impacts spoken language literacy. I think some of
>that is happening now just in the ancedotal evidence that has been
>mentioned on this list, and certainly Dr. Flood's dissertation is
>another helpful resource toward this question. Valerie's Literacy
>Project is another good avenue. So some things are happening.
>Now, I think all of us would agree that SL literacy is valuable on its
>own, and I think eventually people are going to realize that. But in
>the meantime, we will need to find ways to "dangle the carrot" and get
>their interest. English literacy is certainly one that will grab the
>attention of the educational community. Maybe we should brainstorm some
>other avenues that can introduce SW into the schools, and maybe we can
>come up with some other creative ideas.
>I do agree that residential schools are a key part of the puzzle, but
>we must include the mainstream programs as well because so many deaf
>children graduate from mainstream programs. This actually might be a
>way to instill some pride in having Deaf heritage, language, and
>culture for these mainstream students.
>On Jan 6, 2007, at 23:27, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> > 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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