|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Tue Nov 23, 1999 12:49 am
Subject: US Senate Memorandum on ASL...
>The other side of the story needs to be heard (or seen :])--particularly
>that ASL (and other signed languages) are in the process of developing
November 22, 1999
Hello Cheryl -
Thanks for the interesting report on the presentation to the US Senate
about American Sign Language, written by Otto Menzel.
It seems to me that Dr. Menzel is against the use of signed languages in
general. He seems to be using the "writing" issue as another way to argue
against using ASL. So he may not welcome knowing there is a way to write
For those who did not read what Cheryl posted, here is the paragraph that
is specific to "writing ASL"....
Excerpt from the
"MEMORANDUM TO THE LABOR COMMITTEE, UNITED STATES SENATE:
Submitted by Otto J. Menzel, Ph.D.
>The greatest weakness of ASL is that it has no written form. There is
>no such thing as textbooks in ASL, nor can students take notes in ASL,
>etc. With all instruction now being carried on in ASL exclusively, the
>sole source of information is what each student can absorb during the
>lecture and remember. He has no way of supplementing this, particularly
>because he has learned no English, and therefore cannot read English
>books on the subject matter, either. Obviously, one cannot learn
>science nor history nor any other academic subject this way."
I recently received a wonderful letter of support from a teacher who uses
SignWriting to teach math and science to deaf students, so obviously,
slowly but surely, SignWriting is changing the description above...but at
the moment SignWriting is not used at Gallaudet, so it really isn't any
Anyone want to write to Dr. Menzel? And if so, Cheryl, who do we write to?
Thanks for informing us -