Denny Voreck

Hi. My name is Denny C. Voreck. I graduated from Fremont School For The Deaf in 1984, and from Gallaudet in the class of '92, but I am loyal to the class of '89.

I heard a lot about SignWriting. I think the first time I heard about it was at Cindy O'Grady Batch's wedding. I met Valerie Sutton there. She showed me Sign Writing. It looked like Chinese characters to me. It was really weird. But I didn't say anything. I thought it was a little bit crazy. Later, I asked Cindy if she still worked with Valerie Sutton. She said yes, and told me a little bit about it. I was skeptical. I thought "Who really cares?"

After I had graduated,I thought "Why not give it a chance? Work with it a little bit. It can't hurt to try!" So,I talked with Valerie Sutton and later on she called me and said there was a position available. I started learning how to write following the rules. It was a little frustrating getting to know the system. The palm of the hand is represented by white. The back of the hand is represented by black. If the symbol is cut, it represents a different plane to show the third dimension. As I was trained, I started picking up more and more.

I started working at home on my own computer. I could follow my own schedule. I really enjoyed that a lot. In the middle of the night, if I had nothing to do, I could start working on the SignWriting project. As I became more familiar with the SignWriter computer program, I was fascinated, and I started to tell my friends about it.

My suggestion for increasing the use of SignWriting would be to start a pilot program at a Deaf school, for example, the Fremont or Riverside Schools For The Deaf. See if it works. Maybe start at the elementary school level and see if the children are successful in learning. If it is effective, it may be used as a model nationwide. It could be used as a model for Gallaudet University and the world...maybe later the Universe! Who knows?!!

Now, I feel that SignWriting is very innovative and different. It is unique! All great inventions start with experiments. And sure...a lot of experiments fail, but great inventions happen starting with experiments. I encourage you to see how compatible SignWriting is with ASL. Its success really depends on the Deaf Schools, educational systems, administration, the Deaf Community, and politics.

The above was signed in ASL by Denny Voreck 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.