Our SW presentation in Calgary

Gagnon et Thibeault atg at VIDEOTRON.CA
Thu Aug 28 02:20:53 UTC 2008

Hi Val and everyone,

    One Deaf teacher-researcher and I gave our SignWriting (SW) presentation at the conference in Calgary (Western Canada) on July 23rd.  Most participants attending this conference were Deaf.  Although we knew that most were against the SW, we showed some video clips to them.  They had different reactions and saw the different behavior and facial attitude towards written French and written (SW) LSQ.  Another video clip showed that when one Deaf student read written LSQ,  raised his hand, stood up, walked up to the wallboard, and told the story of written LSQ to 10 Deaf students while his body showed pride and self-esteem.  One Deaf teacher-researcher gave one example of self-esteem to Deaf participants.  When he read written French, he never showed pride and self-esteem because he never   raised his hand and never gave a story of the written French to Deaf students.  After finishing our presentation, two Deaf Californians met us. One was a professor at the CSUN and supported us. The other one, who was a preschool teacher at the school for the Deaf in Fremont, CA, admitted that he insisted on using the SW and said to us: "video clips impact me".  He told us that our SW presentation was wonderful.  He will try to be open-minded using the SW.

    However, 4 Deaf teachers have been teaching Deaf students at the school for the Deaf in Milton, in Bellevue, in London (province of Ontario, Central Canada).  They will learn a Sign Font this fall because Dr. Sam Supalla (Deaf professor at The University of Arizona) will show them how to teach a Sign Font using reading and writing.  They believe that a Sign Font is better than a SignWriting because Deaf students learn a bridge between  Sign Font and written English if they gain sufficient vocabulary of English words, and then they don't use Sign Font anymore and are skilled to read and to write English.  They told us that learning SignWriting is a waste of time because the Deaf community doesn't use it and Deaf people who are skilled to read and to write SW cannot obtain jobs in a hearing society.

    Although the Deaf community in general does not support SW and (I believe) SF (Sign Font) neither. One Deaf teacher-researcher keeps teaching SW to Deaf kids.  We tried to persuade Deaf and hearing participants to spread SW, however we weren't successful and we keep fighting.

    Val, don't be upset.  I believe that you have gained a lot of your experience in the past and the present about/through insisting on and struggling for a SW.  Good news for you, Steve who has been developing a Sign Puddle stays hard at work. Also, Adam who supports you keeps up lots of energy creating animated GIFs.  I am always looking forward to learning Sign Puddle 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 in the future. 

    Best wishes,

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