SignWriting Article

Gagnon & thibeault atg at VIDEOTRON.CA
Sat Jan 27 22:46:22 UTC 2007

Hi Sergio,
     Videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs
 (i.e. technology) are all slavedom.  Why is this
slavedom ?  Because you need and are dependent on a device or technology.
And you must stay home (or in your institution/school).  You cannot go
anywhere else.  Well, you may go to sit on the beach sand or at a
restaurant.  But if you bring a laptop, it could be damaged by the beach
sand.  If you leave your laptop on a table at the restaurant while you go to
the toilet, it could be easily stolen as it is an expensive and quite
popular item.  The poor families cannot afford such devices.  This is too
bad.  In Quebec (Canada) the French Deaf community has already been using
videotapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs since 1980.  But, 80% of the French Deaf
community cannot read and write written French without Sign Writing.  (Not
only the LSQ.)  And, according to the Ministry of Education of Quebec, 60%
of the French Deaf oralists who do not know sign language cannot read and
write written French.  To top it off, 85% of the French Deaf community
cannot find a job in Quebec.  A Deaf education without sign writing is like
living in the “Dark Age” but now.
A SW newspaper, a SW book
 let you have freedom.  Why are they like freedom
?  Because you do not need and are not dependent on a device or technology.
And you do not have to stay home (or in your school).  You can go anywhere
in the world.  If you bring a book and leave it on a table at a restaurant
while you go to the toilet, the book could (but rarely) be stolen.  Poor
families cannot afford books.  They are very happy to go to a library where
they may borrow books.  It is unjust and unacceptable that 80% of the French
Deaf community cannot write and read written French, and that 85% of the
French Deaf community cannot find a job.  According to Malkowski (Deaf
Canadian activtist), 1995, “bilingual Bicultural education is first and
foremost an empowering education”.  All empowering educations teach Deaf
students to develop the necessary confidence to exercise their basic rights,
to accept their responsibilities to advocate and to learn to participate in
the decision-making process”.  Deaf education must change, it must accept
and respect Sign Writing for Deaf students.  Then, it will be their
opportunity to choose either videos, DVDs, SW newpapers, SW books

PAH...! This would be real freedom in our society...!
(p.s. I will talk about the Deaf education (Who is using SW ?) later.

From: owner-sw-l at
[mailto:owner-sw-l at] On Behalf Of Sergio Ribeiro
Sent: 26 janvier 2007 11:34
To: sw-l at
Subject: [sw-l] SignWriting Article
Hello friends,
I am writing article about signwriting use in deaf class, this article will
be to the new Magazine. But here in Brazil many peoples, teacher and
linguistics, disagree if writing sign languages is really important or
necessary, because today we have another medias like DVD, CD-ROM, etc, using
video format. What you think about and Deaf members of DAC have what point
of view ?
I want to write this more specific is possible !
My article title is “SignWriting – Why not ?”. I will explain about sign
language history, Stokoe studies and notation, person of the pass that say
about sign writing possible like Itard, Bebian and Alexander Graham Bell.
But most important point is using sign language at moment, now. Who are
using ? Is signwriting great toll for teaching deaf in new approach,
bilingual approach ?
I will be many thankful to see your opinion ! 
Sergio Ribeiro
Centro Educacional Cultura Surda
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