|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Mon Feb 7, 2000 2:09 pm
Subject: Re: Peoples attitude about SignWriting
Dawn McReynolds wrote:
"Unfortunately I the only point that she seemed to except was how
much it has helped Nicole and her reading and writing level. I
remember when people would look differently at Nicole when we first
starting signing and now almost everyone can fingerspell, there's a
big difference from now and twelve years ago. people are much more
aware and excepting of Deafness then they were even then.. Maybe the
same will happen with Sign Writing." Dawn
February 7, 2000
Thank you, Dawn, for sharing this story with everyone. When we first
started reading and writing signs back in the late 1970's, people
basically thought we were nuts...so that kind of a story was "the
normal experience" for us daily.
And you are absolutely correct that time will change the
situation...people need time to think about new ideas. It is a
natural instinct to be wary of new ideas, and maybe that is good.
Your communication with this mother was excellent and she may go home
and think about it, or at least be a little more open-minded about it
I used to say that it always took three discussions before someone
1. the first time they are angry and against it
2. the second time they are neutral
3. the third time they are considering it and want to make sure they
have thought it through properly.
Then they become the strongest advocates, because they really thought
about it beforehand.
So I wouldn't let it bother you. One of the reasons that people react
that way, is that deep in their hearts, they have never accepted
American Sign Language or any signed language as "equal to spoken
languages". They may say that they feel ASL is a true language, but
they have never thought of it as "equal to English" in its
sophistication and importance.
And one last thing...you are an exceptional mother, Dawn, because you
are taking the time to teach your daughter, and to learn SignWriting
yourself. But that is an investment of time for other mothers, who
may not sign very well themselves. So SignWriting frightens them,
because then they would have to learn it....
So there are many issues here. When people talk to me with anger,
generally this is what I say:
"Of course SignWriting may not be for you, and no one is asking you
to use it. But some people choose to use it, and that is their
Then they relax, because they realize I am not asking them to do anything!
Please say "hello" to your daughter for me, and I wish you all the best -
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