|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Sun Apr 18, 1999 3:39 pm
Subject: SignWriting Report April 18, 1999
Sunday, April 18, 1999
Dear SW List Members -
Hope you all are doing well. Here is a summary of what has been happening
in my office, in the past two weeks....
1. Swiss-German Version of SignWriter.
Today I am preparing a special version of our SignWriter Computer Program
in the German spoken language, with a Swiss-German fingerspelling keyboard!
I am doing this for researchers in Switzerland. They translated certain
computer commands into German for me, and now I am entering the German
commands into our computer program and creating this special version for
them. Until now, SignWriter was available in 8 spoken languages (commands
on the screen only, not the manuals), but now German commands will be
available for people too. So German is our ninth spoken language.
Swiss-German fingerspelling is our 15th fingerspelling keyboard.
2. Increased Requests for Information
In the past two weeks I have received 35 requests for SignWriting
Information Packets, which I sent all over the world - to Peru, Ecuador,
Brazil, Austria, Germany, France, Canada, and the USA. Nice to have so much
interest. Orders have also increased. This helps our nonprofit organization
3. New Products and Photos
On Friday, a student in photography offered to come help me. We took photos
of all of our books and videos. I plan to create a new brochure with
product photos. I will also add the photos to our web site, so it is easier
to order from the web. I have designed new packages. The Lessons In
SignWriting Video Series, and the Deaf Perspectives on SignWriting Video
Series will soon come in video cases. Inside each case is a slot for two
videos, and a place to hold the booklets that come with the videos. This
makes it easier for libraries to place the videos on library shelves. The
video cases have a spine, that looks like a real book.
4. Fingerspelling Fonts for the Macintosh and Windows
Years ago we had fonts for the Macintosh. I created them with an old
program called "Fontastic", which no longer exists. Fontastic became the
famous program called "Fontographer", which was created by Macromedia. Two
weeks ago I wrote to Macromedia, explaining that we were a nonprofit and
that everyone is volunteering their time. We would be happy to link to
Macromedia's web site, if they could donate one copy of Fontographer to us,
so we could develop SW Fingerspelling Fonts, which will be downloadable
from our SignWriting Web Site. To my great pleasure and surprise, I
received a phone call from Macromedia, saying that they will donate if we
give them acknowedgement on our web site. This is a $700 donation - the
software is expensive. Of course I am thrilled to collaborate with
Macromedia in this way, and they mentioned they may help us with other
software too. Yesterday, I received Fontographer in the mail!! I was so
excited. So I will now be working on the SW Fingerspelling Fonts and hope
to have them ready in the next few months.
The SW Fingerspelling Fonts are separate from, and are not connected to,
the SignWriter Computer Program. The SignWriter Computer Program also has
fingerspelling "keyboards", which are not the same as fonts. The SignWriter
program is far superior to fonts, because with SignWriter you can
manipulate the symbols to do all kinds of wonderful things that a plain
font cannot do.
However, the SW Fingerspelling Fonts for the Mac and Windows have positive
uses too. They are nice because they can be used with other established
programs such as Microsoft Word. In your listing of fonts on your computer,
you see names of the fonts, like Helvetica, Courier, etc....and if you
install the SW Fingerspelling Fonts, they will be listed in the same place.
Then you can start a document, such as in Microsoft Word, and switch to SW
Fingerspelling UK, and type English, and instead of English, two-handed UK
fingerspelling will appear in your document!
The Fonts are not hard to create. My only problem is time - I wish there
were 48 hours in one day instead of 24!! But when I do complete them, I
will announce it, of course.
5. International Use of SignWriting
In the past two weeks, I have received extensive reports from people using
SignWriting in Brazil, Switzerland and France. In Switzerland, they are
translating our Lessons In SignWriting Textbook into German - which is a
great honor. They also want to do the SignWriting diagrams in Swiss-German
Sign Language. I hope in time the researchers doing this work can tell us
more about their project in their own words. I will be helping them as much
as I can. In Brazil, I understand that the dictionary work is going well,
and I have been asked to edit the work, which I will be happy to do. There
has been some interest from the media in Brazil, I understand.
SignWriting literature was distributed at a conference in Vienna, Austria
earlier this year. A school in Toulouse, France wants to translate our
books into French and French Sign Language.
And even DanceWriting is doing well. Three days ago I received a phone call
from Norway. I assumed it was someone using SignWriting there, only to find
that the phone call was about DanceWriting. As you all know, DanceWriting
was used in Denmark with the Royal Danish Ballet, back in 1974. And even
though I know that it is used by individual dancers in several countries, I
have been so absorbed with SignWriting that I have not paid it much
attention in recent years.
Well...the phone call from Norway was a surprise...it was the Senter for
Dansekunst - The Center for the Art of Dance - in Oslo, Norway. They are
interested in using DanceWriting in their designs for brochures which they
disseminate throughout Norway. They looked at the many dance notation
systems that exist (there are hundreds of dance notation systems), and
decided that DW was the most visual of all the systems. It lends itself to
their artistic designs. They are even considering designing fabric with
DanceWriting figures - what a surprise!
So now I have gabbed about all kinds of subjects!
I hope you all will feel free to share your work with us too - If you are
using SignWriting, we would love to hear about your project....
Have a wonderful Sunday!!
The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA