Lucinda O'Grady Batch

Hi. My name is Lucinda O'Grady Batch. I am Deaf. I come from a Deaf family. I went to a Deaf school in New Jersey. When I came to California I got a job working at Salk Institute which focuses on sign language research. I also have taught American Sign Language (ASL) classes and I have been involved in the field of ASL in general.

Now, let me explain a little about the DAC, which stands for the Deaf Action Committee. That started in about 1988. Valerie Sutton is a hearing woman who invented SignWriting way back in 1974. I got involved in SignWriting in about 1981. In 1988, we decided to set up the Deaf Action Committee for the purpose of having several Deaf people involved working on the SignWriting project.

We meet weekly to work on newsletters and the distribution of those newsletters, as well as a sign language dictionaries. It is important to have a way to preserve old ASL signs as well as more current ones, and to be able to share them throughout the United States. That project is also helpful internationally for research purposes. So, that's what we have been doing to date.

I have been involved with the SignWriting project for a long time. In 1981, when I first got involved, I wasn't sure if it was necessary or a good idea, but after I started learning I could see its true value, especially for research.

We do a lot of research work and SignWriting is a wonderful way to document that research. It can also be used in language education. More and more schools for the Deaf are using the "bilingual- bicultural approach" in the classroom. SignWriting could be added to the curriculum in such programs, to enhance Deaf people's own language, ASL.

The above was signed in ASL by Lucinda Batch in 1994
on the video entitled Deaf Perspectives on SignWriting.

The English text is a word-for-word transcription of the English voice-over on the video, by interpreter Melissa Smith.