Question about/for the Deaf :-)

Valerie Sutton dac at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Sep 17 17:33:44 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
September 17, 2007

On Sep 17, 2007, at 7:42 AM, Rodrigo Ferreira Bagni wrote:
> Currently I am trying to define a topic of studying to my master of  
> science research on computer science, that is computers :-)
> I have two main corcerns with which I would like to work. The first  
> one is the problems the Deaf faces today in the society and the  
> second one is digital divide.
> Thus I'm trying to combine them. Among the Deaf there are many  
> different personalities, needs, goals, abilities etc; so I don't  
> want to exclude anybody or consider the broader set as possible.  
> Digital divide for me is the constraint imposed to someone  
> preventing them from having access to information technology,  
> mainly the internet. Because of it those people cannot, as we can,  
> develop themselves learning with the content available on the  
> internet and most important, they cannot act to change the  
> situation in which they live, using what the internet offers. For  
> exemple, what would have happend with SignWrinting if we didn't  
> have the internet?  So, based on this I wanted to know, if someone  
> want to help, please  :-) What problems do you think there are that  
> prevent the Deaf from effectively using the internet, if there is  
> any? Do you think SignWriting is the solution? If it is, is it the  
> only one?  What about those ones that do not know any sign language  
> and poorly learnt a spoken language (English, French, German,  
> Portuguese, etc). Can the internet help them or they should learn a  
> language first to use the internet?  If the internet had something  
> more or were somehow different, I am sure the Deaf could use it  
> much better. What would be something more or different? Do you  
> think there is anything else that could be done besides working  
> with the internet? Regarding computers, please.

Hello Rodrigo!
Thank you for this message and question.

Your project sounds very interesting....

First, did you know that lots of people write SignWriting by hand? In  
fact, most do I suspect...SignWriting did not start with computers.  
Back in 1974, when SignWriting began, there were no personal  
computers, and we did all our writing with ink pens by hand...

SignWriting Handwriting

Second, besides writing by hand off the internet, there is also the  
PocketPuddle, which does not require an internet connection. It costs  
us money to produce the PocketPuddle...that is why, for people who  
can afford it, we charge money to pay for our costs in manufacturing  
them...however...if you know of a classroom in Brazil, that does not  
have an internet connection, but wants to prepare documents by  
computer on their computer desktop, then a combination of the  
PocketPuddle plus SignBank, or other software like SW Edit and  
SignWriter DOS...all can be run without any internet  
connections...and arrangements can be made for some donations from  
our non-profit organization here in California...the teacher will  
need to fill out the SignWriting Literacy Project application to  
receive the donations:

SignWriting Literacy Project...apply for materials

But if someone can help them download the software, and give it to  
them, then that is another way to get SignWriter DOS and SW Edit  

I am always late in sending donated materials to people, so for those  
who are waiting...I am really sorry!

But I am starting to catch up a little...

Anyway...Rodrigo, this may not be the answer you wanted...

Want to ask more questions - go right ahead!

Val ;-)


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