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SignWriting List
October 12, 2016

Hello SignWriting List!

October 8-10 Steve Slevinski and I attended the North American WikiConference 2016 at the San Diego Central Public Library, in San Diego, California. Wikipedians from Canada, the United States and Mexico attended and it was a great conference!

Our non-profit organization presented our American Sign Language Wikipedia at the conference. Here is a write-up about the presentation:

“Writing the American Sign Language Wikipedia on Incubator”

Sunday, OCTOBER 9, 2016
3:30pm
San Diego Central Public Library
Clark Room, Floor 1
330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101


The presentation was signed in American Sign Language by 3 ASL Deaf Wiki-contributors: Adam Frost, Jason Nesmith and Holly Sharer.

ADAM FROST, Deaf ASL Teacher and Linguist, told the story of how he founded the American Sign Language Wikipedia, using the specialized software developed by Stephen E Slevinski Jr, and explained that the first attempt at an ASL Wikipedia was made possible by a donation of server space on Wikimedia Labs and later on Wikimedia Incubator. As the first Deaf ASL Editor, Adam translated the Wikipedia menus from English to ASL using “Translate Wiki”. Adam contributed the first ASL article in the ASL Wikipedia: “Charles-Michel de l’Épée” and he continues to edit articles and gives tech support to new ASL writers.

JASON NESMITH, Deaf 3D Artist, Animator and Graphics Designer, is contributing 4 articles to the ASL Wikipedia: “Elon Musk”, “Star Wars”, “3-D Printers” and “Walt Disney”.  Jason explained how he learned SignWriting and why he is excited to write Wikipedia articles for the Deaf Community and to animate them as well.

HOLLY SHARER, Deaf Psychologist and Artist, is contributing three ASL articles in the ASL Wikipedia: “Salvador Dali”, “Picasso”, and “Thailand”. Holly lived and worked with Deaf people in Thailand and Cambodia, which makes her contributions to the ASL Wikipedia even more meaningful.

This was a lively presentation in ASL with English/ASL interpreters Pasch McCombs and Kaylyn Waisbrot. The audience asked questions of the presenters. The inventor of the SignWriting Script, Valerie Sutton, and the developer of the software used to write Wikipedia articles in SignWriting, Stephen E Slevinski Jr, were present to take questions as well.

Nancy Fray Romero’s 48 ASL Wikipedia articles were also displayed in a book that was handed out freely to the audience. The book, which is only partially completed at this time, can be downloaded on the web:

SignWriting Encyclopedia Projects
http://www.signwriting.org/encyclopedia/

Download ASL Wikipedia Articles in a Booklet
http://www.signwriting.org/archive/docs12/sw1196_ASL_WIKIPEDIA_October_2016.pdf

Thank you to all the presenters and ASL writers, to our interpreters Pasch McCombs and Kaylyn Waisbrot, to Deaf Community Services of San Diego Interpreting Services, to the San Diego Central Public Library, which is a beautiful large library which provided beautiful rooms for the conference, and a special thank you to the Wikimedia Foundation and all the Wikipedians who participated and gave us a feeling of inclusion and support - it was a terrific event and you should feel very proud of all Wikipedias around the world. It is hard to imagine a world without Wikipedia! It is also hard to imagine, that the Wikimedia Foundation started Wikipedias in 2001, which means Wikipedia is only 16 years old, and there are millions of articles in the many languages around the world - thank you for this gift to the world!

More information and photos of the event will be posted soon ;-)

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
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