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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Jan 21, 2002  4:10 pm
Subject:  Report: Annual Membership Meeting Jan. 2002

SignWriting List
January 21, 2002

Dear SignWriting List Members:
Yesterday we held our Annual Membership Meeting in my home in La
Jolla, California. I wish all of you could have been here! The
SignWriting List was mentioned continually throughout the afternoon,
since it is playing an important role in the history of SignWriting

We had a pleasant crowd of people who sat around eating snacks and
sharing stories. It was so much fun...everyone was laughing and
having a great time. It seemed a shame to have to bring out the
boring paperwork....But we did, since that was the point of the
meeting! ;-)

We reviewed the financial "Treasurer's Report 2001" which summarizes
the state of our finances. We voted for officers (smile...I have been
voted in again, as Executive Director ;-). Then I passed out a new
"Year-End-Report 2001", which I wrote last week, which is a summary
of all that happened in 2001. I explained each accomplishment, and
people asked questions.

Everyone enjoyed looking at the Brazilian Encyclopedic Dictionary. I
also showed them a wonderful new book on the Brain, that shows
SignWriting behind a photo of a Nicaraguan student. We discussed the
fact that literacy is being achieved in Nicaragua, Germany and
Albuquerque, and most likely, in Brazil too. I discussed the
accomplishments in German-Switzerland, the Arabic Nations, Colombia,
and Canada. I passed around the booklet "Deaf Children Around the
World Express Grief Over the Terrorist Attack". Everyone loved the
booklet and expressed how much the world has changed because of
September 11. I also told them about Bill Reese capturing our web
sites on a CD, and how I feel that has potential.

I then brought up the SignBank project, including events that
happened just two weeks ago, in 2002. Everyone was fascinated by the
fact that FileMaker Corporation has donated software to us, and is
interested in working with us on Public Relations (PR). I explained
that SignBank will be tested in linguistic research in Switzerland,
in Deaf Education with young deaf children in Albuquerque and
Germany, with the Deaf Community in Iowa, with a dictionary maker in
Washington DC, with a software developer in Brazil, and with a
Unicode developer in Ireland. The fact that FileMaker will someday
work with Unicode was discussed at length.

Everyone started to get excited when I told them that FileMaker
Corporation wants us to develop SignBank for Palm Top computers - the
handheld computers that are really small...the size of the palm of
your hand. There is a computer program called "FileMaker Mobile",
that will make it possible to put SignBank at your fingertips - So
when I start working with our FileMaker programmer, Todd Duell, in
February, I will ask him about that. There will be some work on his
part, to make that possible, but it apparently is not that hard to
implement, since any program that works in FileMaker on a desktop
computer, can also be put into the Palm Top format by a skilled

All of a sudden, everyone started throwing new ideas around. Why
don't we do this?....Why don't we do that?....and this and
this?.....I stood back and realized how wonderful it all is. I feel
so fortunate to witness that SignWriting has a life of its own!

I want to thank everyone who uses SignWriting, for your input, your
ideas, and your accomplishments ;-)

I will post the Year-End-Report-2001 on the web for everyone to read.
And I hope to get back to answering all of your email - Thanks for
all the great messages!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton


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