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From:  Stefan Woehrmann
Date:  Sun Jun 4, 2000  9:48 am
Subject:  Re: Chami

Hi Linda ,

I read your emails with great interest . It could be that you are exactely
that kind of mother teacher for Deaf would like to meet - (You donīt ask the
experts - just to do with you child - what they think might work ! (CI would
be available so quickly - at least here in Germany !) But that is the point
, itīs not a new technical device that changes the chances of a deaf child -
itīs the chance to develop a comunication system in early childhood in order
to organize the world inside and outside from the beginning. It feels so
good to realize that there are hearing parents who accept their children as
what they are - and what they need. Your daughter is growing into the
comunity of Deaf people and itīs so wonderful to ask "the experts of Deaf
experience". As a hearing teacher itīs never too late to add more pieces to
my own set of attitudes : Itīs a shame that the Deaf kids canīt speak up
against discrimination or rude behaviour until they are grown up und finally
get attention from their surrounding. So this is a good method to ask the
DEaf adults, to ask them about their experiences during school or
childhood -.

Sharing these experiences with all listmembers is a gift - thanks Nancy and
the others! I think that deaf-culture, deaf-education, questions about the
start of reading and writing are connected with SW as it is a part of it.

Iīm lucky to have deaf guests from time to time in my classes. Itīs so
interesting to watch them interacting with my deaf pupils - itīs simply
different - and I learn a lot. And for my little students itīs a big deal if
an deaf adult tells them how important it is to do the homework, to learn to
write and speak - to become skilled , to indicate that it is almost
impossible to understand just from lipreading

But the reason why Iīm answering your reply to Valerie is this :

Linda wrote :> I look forward to knowing you more and learning this new
language for me.

Well , once again . Itīs important to understand because that causes trouble
with some of my parents when I started SW at our school. SW is not a new

In case you are or become a fluent signer (ASL ) - you know already this
"new language".

SW opens new possibilities. SW allows you to write what you sign ! SW allows
you to read what you or somebody else expressed in SignLanguage.

Therefore you are lucky to be able to start with a working dictionary in ASL
.. People in South Africa (hi Ingrid), France (welcome aboard) , Switzerland
(hello !) and other countries with different Sign Languages have to write
their own dictionaries unless other pioneers (in Norway, Nicaragua, Brazil,
....) havenīt done that before.

So it is very important to realize that SW is not a new language , but a
writing system which allows to read and write that SignLanguage you are
already familiar with.

And this can be a big help to improve literacy in both languages . And that
is the reason why we use it in our class !

By the way : Little Irina becomes more and more interested to find out how
the same things are signed by American deaf children - she browses through
the dictionary and loves to find signs she never saw before!

All the best

Did you download SW4.3 yet ?
Valerie offers wonderfull materials on our homepage - itīs not too
difficult to start. SW 4.3 offers files in the SW 4.3 programm that offer
additional information. Knowing ASL you and your daughter should be able to
identify the first signs just on your own. - and that will be fun !!!! I
promise !! ;-)

Stefan ;-)

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