Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting

1991 was a year rich with accomplishments for our Deaf Action Committee. Below is a summary of 1991 achievements:


1. Deaf Studies Association...February 13, 1991. Presenter: Meriam Ina Schroeder. Location: Calif. State University, Northridge (CSUN).

2. CSUN, Cal. State Univ. Northridge...April 10, 1991. Presenter: Meriam Ina Schroeder. Attendees: Students from David McKee's signed language class.

3. Golden West College, Huntington Beach...March 4, 1991. Presenter: Valerie Sutton. Attendees: Students from Geno Vescovi's Deaf Culture class.

4. Mesa College & City College, San Diego...April 15-April 26, 1991. Presenters: Don Baer, Lucinda O'Grady Batch & Hampton Johnson. Attendees: Students from various signed language classes.

5. John Hopkins National Search For Computing To Assist Persons With Disabilities, San Francisco...December, 1991. Presenter: Richard Gleaves. Our newly-developed software, SignWriter, version 4.0 for the IBM PC, which was programmed by Richard Gleaves, was displayed to educators in Special Education in an all-day exhibition of computer software.


1. California Association of Teachers of Sign Language (C.A.T.S. Conference)...March 23, 1991. Our representative: Susan Diamond Bucher. Location: Monterey, California.

2. Deaf Festival LA 91...April 27, 1991. Our representatives: Crystal Finley and Meriam Ina Schroeder. Location: Calif. State U. Northridge.


1. Winter Workshop, Utah...Book of Mormon Translation Project, February 9 & March 2, 1991. Instructor: Petra Horn. Location: Church of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. This group is using Sign Writing and SignWriter Software on the IBM PC to help in their on-going translations of the Book of Mormon into American Sign Language.

2. Winter Workshop, Washington D.C....Offered February 11, 1991. Instructor: Charles Butler, III. Location: Gallaudet University.

3. Spring Workshops, San Diego....April - May, 1991. Instructors: Hampton Johnson & Valerie Sutton. Location: La Jolla.

4. Summer Workshop, Los Angeles...June, 1991. Instructor: Crystal Finley. Location: Calif. State University, Northridge (CSUN). This workshop took place in a festival called Summer Spirit at CSUN.

5. Fall Workshop, San Diego....La Jolla, 1991. Instructor: Valerie Sutton. A group working with Mexican Sign Language in Mexico traveled to La Jolla to learn how to create dictionaries in Mexican Sign Language on the IBM computer. This important work will not only benefit Deaf people in Mexico, it will also benefit the large group of Mexican-American Deaf people in Southern California.

6. Teacher Training...All year. Seminars were held to train new Deaf instructors on the DAC staff. New staff members who received training in 1991 are Catherine Burge, Hampton Johnson and Cindi Safford, Susan Diamond Bucher received special instruction on the SignWriter PC computer program for the IBM PC.


1. Lessons In Sign Writing...Workbook, First Edition. Author: Valerie Sutton. A workbook which teaches how to write Sign Writing. This workbook accompanies the Lessons In Sign Writing textbook, which was published in 1990.

2. Lessons In SignBank I...Second Edition. Author: Valerie Sutton. A tutorial which teaches how to use the SignBank I computer program.

3. SignWriter Software for the IBM PC...Version 4.0. Updated by programmer Richard Gleaves. Valerie Sutton also updated the Sign Writing symbols in the computer. This project took six months, beginning in June, 1991, completed December 3rd, 1991.

4. Lessons In SignWriter PC...Second Edition. Author: Valerie Sutton. A tutorial which teaches how to use the SignWriter PC computer program, version 4.0. Published: December, 1991.

5. SignWriter PC Reference Manual...Second Edition. Author:

Richard Gleaves. A reference manual on how to use the SignWriter PC computer program, version 4.0. Published: December, 1991.

6. SignWriter PC At-A-Glance...First Edition. Author: Valerie Sutton. A quick-guide to using SignWriter PC, version 4.0, including sections for different countries. Published: December, 1991.

7. SignWriter Newsletter...Spring, 1991. Authors: Paulette Sottak, Karen van Hoek, and Valerie Sutton. Sixteen page newsletter printed in March and distributed to 41 countries in mid-April.

8. SignWriter Newsletter...Fall, 1991. Authors: Donald Baer, Karen van Hoek, and Valerie Sutton. Twenty page newsletter printed in August and distributed to 41 countries in mid-September.

Many Thanks...

1. To Our 1991 Sponsors...Without them, our work in 1991 could not have been possible! Thanks to...the Lluella Morey Murphy Foundation, the Edwards Foundation, the Felix & Helen Juda Foundation, the R.C. Baker Foundation, the Marjorie Mosher Schmidt Foundation, the Parker Foundation, the Wynn Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Fieldstead & Co., Union Bank, the Rockwell Donate-Once-Club, the Hughes Give-Once-Club, Printronix Corp., Mission Viejo Co., Home Savings of America, the Inner Wheel, and the Hunt-Wesson Corp. All contributed to our success!

2. To Our Board Members...Thank you for attending our annual membership meeting, held February 9, 1991 in Newport Beach, Calif. Thanks to...James Lucas, Norman Potter, Willaim Schallert (could not attend meeting), Paul, Doris & Valerie Sutton, and Harry Weissenberger.

3. To Our Staff Members...You did a great job in 1991! Thanks to...Donald Baer, Lucinda Batch, Catherine Burge, Charles Butler, Crystal Finley, Richard Gleaves, Petra Horn, Hampton Johnson, Freda Norman, Cindi Safford, Meriam Ina Schroeder, Paulette Sottak, Karen van Hoek, and Nancy Ellen Woo.

Who Else Used Sign Writing in 1991?

Sign Writing is not only used by our Deaf Action Committee in Southern California. It is also used by groups and individuals all over the world. Some of the other projects that used Sign Writing in 1991 are the...

1. Nicaraguan Sign Language Project...Participants: Linguist Judy Shepard-Kegl and others from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Nicaraguan signs are being recorded in Sign Writing by computer.

2. Mexican Sign Language Project...Participants: Linguists Karla Faurot, Dianne Dellinger, Andrew Eatough, and Steve Parkhurst from the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Mexican signs are being recorded in Sign Writing. A dictionary of 1100 Mexican signs is now on computer.

3. Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL)...Linguist Al Bickford from Tuscon, Arizona is writing a basic grammatical analysis which will be used in several SIL schools around the world. Signs will be included in the document written in Sign Writing. Al Bickford and Katherine Voigtlander set up a display on Sign Writing at the Museum of the Alphabet in Waxhaw, North Carolina in 1991.

4. Book of Mormon Translation Project...Participants: Minnie Mae Wilding-Diaz, Jack Rose, Douglas Hind and several others from the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are using Sign Writing and our software on the IBM PC to record translations of the Book of Mormon into American Sign Language.

5. Danish Sign Language Project...Sign Writing has been used in Denmark since 1982, but in the past few years, a linguist, Karen Albertsen (and others) from the Deaf Center For Total Communication in Copenhagen, Denmark, have designed their own special software on the Macintosh, using Sign Writing. At the moment the program is only in Danish, but plans are being made to translate it into other languages. Called TegnBank , which means "SignBank" in Danish, the program is a linguistic data base for dictionaries of signs. Now that the software is done, they plan to start building a large Danish Sign Language dictionary in Sign Writing in the computer in 1992.

6. Norwegian Sign Language Project...Sign Writing has been used in Norway for several years. In 1991, thanks to the dedication of Ingvild Roald, a teacher of the Deaf at Bjørkåsen Skole in Bergen, Norway, interest began to spread among Norwegian Deaf people, and workers among the Deaf. Ingvild has been encouraging Deaf people to use our SignWriter software on the IBM PC. The Norwegian government sponsored translation of our Sign Writing textbooks and software into Norwegian Sign Language and Norwegian spoken language in 1991.

7. Italian Sign Language Project...Marco and Maddalena Consolati, from the Cooperativa DIRE in Torino, Italy, have begun, along with other teachers of the Deaf, to use our SignWriter software on the IBM PC to type Italian signs. Their goal is to create an Italian Sign Language dictionary in Sign Writing on computer.

8. University of Bristol, England...Bencie Woll, Lorna Allsop, and Rachel Sutton-Spence are using SignWriter software on the IBM PC at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol. Rachel Sutton-Spence used the software for her doctoral thesis on fingerspelling.

9. Irish Sign Language Project...Helena Saunders from the Irish Deaf Society (IDS), and members of the Linguistic Institute of Ireland, both in Dublin, are using SignWriter PC software. They hope to create an Irish Sign Language Dictionary, but are waiting for funding.