Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

ann swope acswope at GWI.NET
Fri Jan 12 21:30:04 UTC 2007

Valerie, Can you take my name off this class?
Thanks, Ann
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Valerie Sutton" <signwriting at MAC.COM>
To: <sw-l at>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2007 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

> SignWriting List
> January 12, 2007
> On Jan 12, 2007, at 11:09 AM, K.J. Boal wrote:
>>> It's all about RESPECT.  Children should see from day one that their
>>> teachers respect sign language as a language, and showing respect  
>>> for the
>>> written form is about that.
>> Which will be a more convincing argument once SW is more generally  
>> recognized as a valid writing system . . .  sorry, but right now  
>> there are too many "experts" and, honestly, too many Deaf who  
>> either don't know about SW or are against it.  I don't think I  
>> could argue yet that SW is "the written form" of sign language  
>> until it has been accepted and used by more of the Deaf community.
> Kelly Jo!
> I know you are playing devil's let me play angel's  
> advocate and give you my point of view on writing and what it means...
> Why put the ignorance of others as more important than the thousands  
> of people who are writing sign language daily and reading in it right  
> now?...To discount their accomplishments and say they are not writing  
> or reading the language, which is the implication, is just as unfair,  
> as ignoring other people's complaints about it. Both sides deserve  
> equal respect!
> I learned the other day that 70 per cent of Pakistan's population  
> cannot read and write, but there is still a written form for the  
> Pakistani spoken numbers of users is not the issue...if  
> one person can write a newspaper in a writing system, then there is a  
> written form for that language...even if only 30 per cent of the  
> population can read it...or 2 per cent or whatever...but if you  
> interview a person in Pakistan who cannot read and write, I bet he or  
> she would not be able to tell you what he or she is missing...because  
> they would never have imagined it as a part of their own lives to  
> begin with...
> The majority of the population in England in Shakespeare's day, were  
> illiterate and did not even understand what reading and writing was,  
> but none the less,  when Shakespeare wrote a play, he was using the  
> written form for English... What was he writing with? chicken  
> scratches? smile...there were a small percentage of people in his day  
> that could read and write and that was all that mattered, to make it  
> a written form for the language...but believe Shakespeare's  
> time many many people were against reading and writing...the majority  
> in fact...that was for rich people...and there were arguments against  
> creating schools because everyday people did not need to learn to  
> read and write...that was their argument against reading and writing...
> Meanwhile Shakespeare wrote his plays, no matter what, in a written  
> form for English...while this debate was going on...
> James in Nicaragua has written some 40 books for his students  
> (yes...a very long list) in Nicaraguan Sign Language in  
> SignWriting...Did he not write it in a written form for the language?  
> if not...then what was he writing in?
> Just because other Nicaraguans may not know right now that there is a  
> way to write, does not mean the written form does not exist...and  
> there is no other writing system that can write literature in sign  
> language other than SignWriting...the Stokoe system has never  
> published a story with punctuation...only SignWriting has punctuation  
> for there isn't another one for writing literature in  
> the world that I personally know of...
> Just my place the fact that people are afraid of  
> put their opinion first, when they have never have been  
> properly introduced to the writing system at all... and ignoring the  
> vast amount of work already not a balanced picture...
> Others do this all the time and I have to vent - ha!
> There are many definitions of what "the written form" means...for me  
> it means that for the first time we have the chance and the choice to  
> be able to read and write Sign Language Literature if we choose to,  
> and people who are against that just need to have a little more  
> contact with it and they will agree and be pleased...
> So yes...there is a written form for any signed language in the  
> world, and I use it everyday...and more people will in time...
> My two cents!
> Val ;-)

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