Date: Tue Dec 1, 1998 11:53
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: QUESTIONS REGARDING SIGN WRITING
Here are the questions which I promised in my last e-mail. I'm a regular
columnist for Silent News, and those of you who are responding to a couple
of these questions or so, I'd appreciate it if you could respond by
Thursday morning, or Friday a.m. at the latest, so I could incorporate the
information into the article.
Again, don't worry about perfect grammar, etc. I'm used to reading Deaf
English, I read it all the time!! :-)
1) What role(s) do you think SignWriting is playing in Deaf and hard of
hearing children's education? Can you give specific examples?
2) Several schools for the Deaf are participating in this SignWriting
program. If you are participating in such a program, it may be too early
to tell as yet, but is there any evidence that SignWriting has contributed
in any way to your students' ability to read and write in English? (If any
articles have been printed showing that statistically SignWriting does
contribute, please let me know!)
3) Does SignWriting still face continuing controversy, ridicule,
etc even today? From what sources, usually? (i.e., Deaf people/leaders,
hearing people, administrators of deaf schools, etc). What is(are) the most
common argument(s) against SignWriting?
4) What do you usually say in response to their argument(s) against
5) Won't the rapid pace of technology, including Internet technology,
simply wipe SignWriting out, reducing it obsolete? Why or why not? After
all, videocameras (useful for signed ASL) are shrinking rapidly in both
size and cost, as are computer chips, and new technology is continually
popping up to replace old ways of doing things.
6) What flaws does SignWriting and/or its software still have that
to be worked out? (Since you are all obviously proponents of SignWriting,
I expect positive comments in general; however, every program has its
kinks that it needs to work out, and SignWriting is no exception! :-) )
7) What is this new profession, "Sign Language Journalism", and how
Deaf and/or hearing reporters are in this particular field in North America
and/or the rest of the world, that you know of? And how many readers are
there, approximately, who read materials written in this way?
8) As you well know, D/hoh children must learn to write, take speech
therapy, and learn ASL if they are in a Deaf school or a Bi-Bi program. Now
you're asking these children to learn yet another form of language: the
written version of ASL. One argument that could be made against
SignWriting is that it's even more work for these children AND their
teachers, and thus reducing the time for learning written English, which
the children need. What is your response?
9) Have other people tried to put their own, spoken (not signed)
into a written form in the past? How did it work?
Again, you DON'T have to answer every one of these questions! Just
couple or so, and any experience you share with me would be greatly
In advance, thanks for any information you can share,