[Sw-l] SignWriting in Ometepe, Lake Nicaragua and Happy New Year!

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Dec 31 23:06:30 UTC 2022

SignWriting List
December 31, 2022

Hello Dale and everyone on the SignWriting List -

Thank you, Dale, for this message in 2023 (well one day away) and scroll down below - See Dale’s message posted two years ago with photos of the Deaf students. Congratulations to everyone on the project and all the students and teachers and Happy New Year!

Val ;-)


> On Dec 27, 2022, at 3:37 PM, Dale Spoor <dale.spoor27 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Hi, Val,
> Yes, I'm still working with deaf people on our sister island Ometepe, in Lake Nicaragua (the kids have grown up since I started working with them 15 years ago, so I have to start referring to them as adults).  The five who graduated from high school are all just now finishing up studying for two years in various fields: cooking, cosmetology, and tailoring, ready to go out into the workplace. One of them may eventually become a sign language teacher.   We have  sign language workshops scheduled for the month of January with a great Nicaraguan deaf teacher coming to the island, thanks as always to James Kegl for his assistance.  
> I recently turned over the chair of our special needs committee to a team of three people--all very sharp and have been involved with the deaf and blind in various ways.  I'm 84 now, sensing it was time to do this so that we had an orderly transition of leadership, rather than waiting.  This way I've been able to share all that I've learned over the years and still keep peripherally involved.  
> The work you and others are doing with SignWriting is absolutely amazing!  This is going to bring about so many new life-changing possibilities for deaf people it's just hard to imagine.  I wanted to forward that link to our new committee chair team. One of them was instrumental in teaching the basics of SW writing when we were on Ometepe a couple of years ago, so I'm trying to get him interested in following the SW developments, learning how to use the software so that he can teach that.
> Dale

Dale’s message two years ago… see below


> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Dale Spoor <dale.spoor27 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: HAPPY NEW YEAR! ;-)
> Date: January 1, 2021 at 10:28:42 AM PST
> Reply-To: "SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages" <SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACOLLEGE.EDU>
> And a Happy New Year to All.  We recently celebrated the graduation of five deaf students from the high school in Altagracia, island of Ometepe (Niccaragua)--photo attached, including their interpreter.
> One of these deaf students (the tall guy on the left) consistently achieved the highest grade point average in his class throughout the five years--including all of the hearing students.  It's been a long journey, beginning almost fifteen years ago when we first had contact with these students and learned that they did not know that any sign language existed they could use to communicate with family and friends.  Two of these young people have plans to attend college--one to become a sign language teacher for the deaf, the other a math teacher for the deaf. Considering that few of them had anything resembling an elementary school education, this is an extraordinary achievement for everyone.  Many thanks to James Kegl and the Nicaraguan Sign Language Project, with whose assistance this would not have been possible.
> Cheers,
> Dale Spoor, Chair
> Special Needs Committee
> Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association  



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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