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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sat Nov 24, 2001  1:53 am
Subject:  Question from a researcher...

SignWriting List
November 23, 2001

>In my search on the internet I'm been unsuccessful in locating data regarding
>how and where you made the leap from Dance Writing to Sign Writing. We are
>curious to know your background, are members deaf, are you a CODA or is this
>area something that holds a fascination for you?

I have no deafness in my family, and I am not a native signer. I do
sign, since I used to work full time with Deaf people. I have worked
with SignWriting since 1974. At one point I had 10 native signers
working as consultants to my nonprofit organization, and at that time
I was pretty fluent in ASL. The group became known as the "DAC" or
the Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting, taking that name in 1988.
But I am a movement notator, and I started writing signed languages
before I could sign, because I was asked to record body movement, at
the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 1974. I then made
SignWriting my life's work, after meeting Deaf people at the
University of Copenhagen. Half the world was against me in the
beginning, but now SignWriting is used in 27 countries by small
groups of people...and I have no complaints! I feel very fortunate
that people are trying to write their signed languages. I feel it is
important for the world that the richness of signed languages are
preserved and respected.

There is quite an extensive history written on the web. Here are some
pages to visit:

SignWriting History Archives

1. 1966-1974
DanceWriting Begins
Precursor to SignWriting

2. 1974-1978
SignWriting Begins In Denmark
The Early Years

3. 1975-1980
SignWriting Begins In USA

4. 1981-1984
SignWriter Newspaper
Native Signers Begin Writing

7. 1974-1998
How SignWriting Has Changed
The Evolution of Writing Styles

12. 25 years of writing movement
Valerie Sutton's Autobiography
....the inventor shares her dreams...

Regarding Deaf members of the DAC, who have worked with me in the past:

Deaf Action Committee

Deaf Opinions on SignWriting

I hope this information is useful!


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton

....visit the...

Read & Write Sign Languages

Sign Language Dictionaries

Read & Write Dance

Read & Write Movement & Gesture

Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
tel: 858-456-0098....fax: 858-456-0020

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