writing switching dominant and non-dominant hands

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Jan 24 20:51:09 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 24, 2007

> Andre wrote:
> You use the left strong (active) hand in your story.  Look at the  
> third column (AGAIN): You use the right strong (active) hand and  
> the left weak (passive) hand. You are  supposed to use the left  
> strong (active) hand and the right weak (passive) hand.  If the  
> signer uses alternative hands, the Deaf community does not like  
> them and the signer could be criticized.  For example: President  
> King Jordan ofGallaudet University used the two alternative hands  
> which bothered the Deaf community because it was confusing or  
> uncomfortable to the eyelistener.

That is interesting about the complaint about President King Jordan's  
signing...it may be that people truly skilled in ASL noticed that  
President Jordan was not native to signing and so his "accent" was  
slightly annoying...He learned to sign later in life and it was his  
second language...

We had the opposite experience, relating to an ambidextrous signer  
years ago...(ambidextrous signers are people who are both left and  
right handed, and who sometimes mix the dominant hands)...

One of our DAC members years ago was an ambidextrous signer, born  
into a three-generations Deaf family, and no one seemed to criticise  
his switching dominant hands because he was such a skilled  
signer...smile...I remember asking people about it and they hadn't  
even noticed he did it, but I did because I was writing what he  
said ;-))

That is an interesting issue...

Val ;-)

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