This email has been on my mind for the last couple of days. What I'm about to write may be heresy but please bear with me. :)

"Well as long as we ask people and teachers who already got the chance to overcome their prejudice..."

There's two different kinds of prejudice -- the first is against written sign language in general, and the second is against a certain method or several methods of writing. It's important to recognize the difference because they each require a unique response. 

If someone is against writing SL in general, then we can demonstrate how it's possible. However, that person may not always respond to the method that we choose to demonstrate with. It would be like using a hammer to drive in a screw -- which could work but leaves the wrong impression on the listener.

Which brings me to the next comment: 

"Would be soooo tremendously important to find out whether there is any chance to reach out to people who do ot see any sense, desire ..to put any effort in learning to become familiar with SignWriting. .."

I was one of those people who had no desire to put in the effort to learn Signwriting. My first memorable experience with Signwriting was back in my Gallaudet days. Someone gave me a publication that had a block of Signwriting text in it. I remember being excited about the possibility of writing in ASL but my excitement was immediately tempered with the inaccessibility of the text. This was back around 1997 so the information wasn't easily obtainable. 

Many years later, I came across the Signwriting website and the opposite happened. It was information overload. My eyes (sensibilities) had also changed with the intervening years. I'm a graphic designer/illustrator by trade -- in a nutshell my job is to take complex concepts and turn them into appealing and accessible images. Signwriting's shapes to me are too rough for easy reading. It's not an enjoyable experience, so I gave up at that point.

However, I didn't give up on written SL in general. This is because of my comics work. It drove me nuts that other artists could write comics in their native language and I couldn't. ASLwrite gave me the ability to quickly create full ASL dialogue in 2D space. In a roundabout way it eventually brought me back to Signwriting, not as my chosen method for expression but as one that I could finally grasp and learn from. 

"How about if students in ASL – instruction courses for hearing as well as parents of deaf students would simply ask the teacher/instructor to offer reasonable materials written in SignWriting. SignWriting competence should become a subject in education for coming teachers for deaf students and for SignLanguage instructors... interpreters..."

This is where I went hmm... It's good that we champion the methods that we like, but not at the expense of others. This is probably already an unwritten understanding. The reason why I mention this is because I know I would not be able to handle long-term reading in Signwriting materials without the ability to use a font for easier reading. (Perhaps even Signwriting with an ASLwrite font!) I wouldn't feel comfortable if my instructor required the text even though I would probably do the same! Human nature, that. :)

Now back to my main point about the two different types of prejudice. Perhaps the first step to dismantling the general resistance to written SL is to construct a framework, whether physical or mental, where the evidence for a written SL is clear. Then within that framework the second step would be to provide access to several written SL to see which particular one best fits the individual or group. Not everyone responds to a certain method, however, once one method is learned it can benefit another. It's when walls are constructed around methods that problems arise. 

In closing, Stephen's comments opened up the question on why people are resistant to Signwriting. I hope my brief story helps a bit. It's been inspiring to see the body of work and the community here. I have a lot of respect for that.

What do you all think? I look forward to your thoughts --

‿·⪦˒˒

*****
Adrean Clark

Author and Artist

http://www.adreanclark.com

On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Stefan Woehrmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Valerie and friends,

 

I am following the presentation 42..

 

 

Well as long as we ask people and teachers who already got the chance to overcome their prejudice and who got the chance to feel happy about their own positive experience while learning and teaching with support of SignWriting materials ... we should not be surprised to get  a positive feedback.

 

Would be soooo tremendously important to find out whether there is any chance to reach out to people who do ot see any sense, desire ..to put any effort in learning to become familiar with SignWriting. ..

 

How about if  students in ASL – instruction courses for hearing as well as parents of deaf students would simply ask the teacher/instructor  to offer reasonable materials written in SignWriting. SignWriting competence should become a subject in education for coming teachers for deaf students and for SignLanguage instructors... interpreters...

 

All Best

 

Stefan

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