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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Sep 7, 1998  2:49 pm
Subject:  SignWriting Report 9/7/98


SignWriting Report
September 7, 1998

Dear SW List Members -
I am happy to report that the SignWriting Literacy Project has officially
begun. I sent books and videos to the five groups participating in the
project, on these dates:

August 18, 1998
39 books to Caldwell Elementary School, Hearing Impaired Program, Wichita,
Kansas

August 25, 1998
60 books to Texas School for the Deaf, Lower School, Austin, Texas

August 31, 1998
138 books to Robarts School for the Deaf, London, Ontario, Canada

September 1, 1998
24 books to Kathy Akehurst, private ASL tutor, Tara, Ontario, Canada

September 1, 1998
9 books to Michele Lewis, homeschool, Plant City, Florida

As a part of the donation from our organization, I personally telephoned
and spoke with representatives of the three schools. I spoke with teacher
Diana Smith at the Caldwell School, principal Gloria Seidlin-Bernstein at
the Texas Lower School, and Paul Cowley at the Robarts School. It is true
that I did not call the two private groups, but we have good communcation
on the internet :-)

The reason I felt I needed to call the schools is that more than one
teacher will be using the materials, and these teachers did not have any
special training before they received the books. Many of them are just
being handed books with little introduction. I donated videos to the
schools earlier this summer, and hopefully all of the teachers have viewed
them, but I felt that personal attention from me is paramount if the
project is going to be a success. I hope everyone participating in the
project feels free to phone or write me anytime for technical support :-)

The purpose of the project is to receive feedback from the teachers. They
will fill out three reports, due on September 15, November 1st and December
1st. When I receive the reports I will post them to the list and place them
on our web site. I have also decided that when all the reports are in, I
will publish a booklet:

SignWriting Literacy Project Report
Fall, 1998

which should be available free upon request in 1999. Hopefully the feedback
will benefit Deaf education. I have already received excellent suggestions
from Diana Smith at Caldwell. The other schools are just receiving their
books, in fact I doubt if Canada has received them yet.

I enjoyed speaking with the teachers on the phone. I learned from Paul
Cowley that Robarts School for the Deaf is a residential school with Deaf
children of all ages. They have embraced the bi-bi approach to teaching.
Paul tells me that five of the six teachers presenting SignWriting at
Robarts this fall are Deaf themselves. Their feedback will be very
important to us!

The big question on my mind now is whether the students will need more
Reading Level 1 and 2 books (I can do Cinderella and Snow White at those
levels), or would they prefer the more advanced levels immediately. It will
be interesting to see what happens. The more advanced books are presented
quite differently, and are richer in ASL grammar, but also require some
skill in ASL.

All the best -

Valerie :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Visit the SignWritingSite:
http://www.SignWriting.org

Valerie Sutton at The DAC
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax
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