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Fabrizio,

Define "users".

In Nicaragua - today -, I would divide the population (hearing and Deaf) into four groups:
1)  SW - actively use it
2)  SW - actively used it in school, but no longer do
3)  SW - have seen it, know something about it, can't read it
4)  SW -- "What's that? Never heard of it!"

Group 1:  less than 5, I would guess  (That figure will go up in December because I will be conducting sign language grammar workshops -- and anybody who participates is going to realize that SW is integral to our work -- and once I leave,....)
Group 2:  approx. 50  (primarily in Bluefields, but also in Condega)
Group 3:  maybe 300 (because any family member of a Deaf student in Bluefields 10 years ago would certainly have seen SW, plus families in diverse locations where NSLP staff have introduced Nicaraguan Sign Language.)
Group 4:  about 6 million

There are two reasons to use SW:  1) as an aid in linguistic sign language research    2) literacy, and specifically, sign language literacy

Where you have funded researchers who are actively working, you will encounter SW.  Put another way, a researcher who starts to use SW probably won't stop (until the funding runs out).  

In my experience, school administrators, that is, those charged with bring education to children, have zero interest in enabling Deaf children to develop sign language literacy skills.  School teachers, poorly paid as they are and insecure in their jobs, know better than to buck the system.

Of course, my experience is limited. 

On an optimistic note, I would suggest that one educational administrator with a vision (if that person is high enough in the educational hierarchy) could make all the difference. 

-- James

 
---- Fabrizio Borgia <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
> Dear all,
> has anyone ever attempted to estimate the number of SignWriting users in
> the worlds? The "Who uses SignWriting?" page gives a detaialed account of
> the SignWriting communities around the world, but has anyone ever attempted
> to *count* the number of individuals using SignWriting?
> Are we in the order of hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands?
> Thanks!
> 
> -- 
> Fabrizio Borgia, M.D.
> 
> Ph.D. Student
> Sapienza - Università di Roma
> Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
> 
> O&M Software Engineering
> SERCO S.p.A.
> 
> [log in to unmask]
> [log in to unmask]
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> ________________________________________________
> 
> 
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