Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

Cherie Wren cwterp at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 8 11:56:20 UTC 2007

Teach both at the same time... that is what we are planning to do...  ::smile::


----- Original Message ----
From: K.J. Boal <kjoanne403 at HOTMAIL.COM>
To: sw-l at
Sent: Sunday, January 7, 2007 10:18:07 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

One concern that has come up here in Alberta - brought up by the one teacher 
of the deaf (small "d" intentional) - is that there's no point in teaching 
SignWriting to the children she teaches because she has to teach them 
language first.  I see her point... most of her kids really act more 
hard-of-hearing than Deaf and come from non-signing families.  Is SW really 
useful to a kid that doesn't know Sign Language in the first place?


>From: "Stuart Thiessen" <sw at>
>Reply-To: sw-l at
>To: sw-l at
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 00:20:11 -0600
>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 
>>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.
>>>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
>>>>Your Space. Your Friends. Your Stories. Share your world with Windows 
>>>>Live Spaces.

Your Space. Your Friends. Your Stories. Share your world with Windows Live 

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Sw-l mailing list