Date: Sat Feb 5, 2000 2:12
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Gallaudet University & Signwriting
>From: Cecelia Smith
>As Robert Johnson once said....(not a direct quote...since it was about 2
>years ago) he has nothing against SignWriting, per se, however the Deaf in
>America already have a perfectly good writing system, it is called English.
Shocking! Imagine saying the same thing about any other minority language.
"The Bretons in France already have a perfectly good writing system, it is
It is true that bilinguals often prefer to use the majority language if
theirs does not have a writing system. In Dagestan, for instance, Tsez
speakers write Avar, since Tsez has no orthography. They also learn Russian.
>However, should the day ever arrive when Deaf students require the use of
>such a system, he would be happy to incorporate it as an elective...
Well it won't be very many years before the children presently learning
SignWriting will be _attending_ Gallaudet University.
>I spoke with a first year grad student recently...they were given the same
>page I was handed when I was a first year student. It was a bad copy of a
>document from the late 70's or early 80's, describing sign writing, and given
>as an example of why SignWriting won't be successful.
>Can we say I never made a dent? <sigh>
Who circulated that document? It must come from some office somewhere
there. Valerie recently sent me a number of promotional materials (wrapped
in the articles about Nicaraguan SignWriting) which should certainly be
sent to that office....