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From:  Ronice M Quadros
Date:  Mon Sep 14, 1998  12:42 pm
Subject:  Re: I visited DAC headquarters this summer

Hello Mark!
I was reading your e-mail and it seems that I was relived the time that I spent
with Valerie Sutton at DAC last June. I agree with each word that you wrote.
Valerie and her work have a lot of energy. Also, it shows us how the system is
a really way to write signs.
SW works (it works because she believed in it)!!!!
Ronice Quadros

On Mon, 14 Sep 1998 10:45:49 Mark Penner wrote:
>Here's a short report of my impressions that I wrote this summer after
>visiting DAC. Now that I'm back in Japan, back on e-mail, and back on the
>SW list, I thought I'd pass it on to the list for what its worth.
>In just 9 hours at the DAC office with Valerie my head was reeling. It's
>been a couple of days since then, I've managed to sort out some of what I
>picked up there.
>1)Valerie Sutton = Intensity. Power. Conviction. Commitment. A deep zest
>for life. She is simply an amazing person. Whatever it takes to make
>SignWriting work, or, I should say, work better (it already works very
>well!), she will do.
>2) She is surrounded by a great group of supporters. One by one, top Deaf
>and hearing SL researchers are coming to see the value of the movement
>writing system she invented.
>3) I could have spent the whole time just on her web site and still not
>have seen it all--what a resource!
>4) I'm praying for an early release of SignWriter 5.0. I got to see it, and
>it is so much easier to learn and use (though I did manage to write a
>sentence in the DOS-based SignWriter, and I know I could learn that
>too--its just harder after you've gotten used to Windows-style working).
>5) The philosophy behind the system is solid. Movement Writing records any
>kind of movement, and has been used for everything from dance to karate to
>medical assessments. But SignWriting is far more that just a record of
>movement. Valerie recognized Sign Language (Danish SL first, and later
>ASL) right away as a true language, and from the beginning of her
>SignWriting development, worked with the Deaf community to make it useful
>for them. She and her Deaf teammates at DAC have spent years determining
>what movement information is necessary to record and what is extraneous.
>6) She is sensitive to the issue of natural usage. When I saw my first
>page of SignWriting in columns, my eye instinctively went to the right side
>of the page. Japanese, Chinese--any top-down writing I've ever read is read
>this way. She picked up on that right away. "I'll have to get the
>programmers to add a right-to-left option" To my protest that we could
>learn easily enough to read it the other way, she said "We have Arabic
>SignWriters too." Whatever it takes!
>7) I picked up a little bit of helpful information on how to teach
>SignWriting. It won't help me much if there's no one who can read the
>Japanese Sign Language I write or write to me to help me learn to read. :-)
>I'm part of a team of people (mostly Deaf) working to translate the Bible
>into Japanese Sign Language on video. Written Japanese just doesn't cut it
>for recording translation decisions, and it is awkward for cueing the
>signers as they sign in front of the camera. SignWriting seems like a great
>way to solve these problems. Who knows? Maybe someday we'll have a printed
>SignWriting version of the JSL Bible
>Mark Penner
>I rode with him
>in a taxi once
>Only for a mile and a half
>seemed like it took a couple of months.
>Bob Dylan, _Lenny Bruce_
>Mark Penner
>Tokyo, Japan

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