SignWriting List
February 14, 2017

Welcome to a new member to the SignWriting List, who asked me these questions:

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Hello!
Thank you for the questions:

On Feb 14, 2017:

Hi Valerie,

I would like to ask you:

- When you were a child did you have contac with deaf people?
- Why did you want to create a signwriting?
- Do you know sign language?
We are starting looking for more information about your method... We undertand that you wanted that every single deaf person around the world could get on each other, rigth?! Are there others reason?

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Val's answers:
Thank you again for the questions....

No one is Deaf in my family, and no one had any contact with Deaf people in my family. I was a ballet dancer who invented a way to read and write dance, called Sutton DanceWriting, and this lead me to writing sign languages, and it changed my life.

Have you read this page?

Presentation 40 at SignWriting Symposium 2014
http://www.signwriting.org/symposium/presentation0040.html

and this bio:

Valerie Sutton Bio
http://www.signwriting.org/symposium/archive/sws0040_Author_Biography_%20Sutton_Valerie_2014.pdf

It explains how I got involved with deafness and sign languages.

I know how to sign using basic American Sign Language because I hired native signers to work with me. I learned to sign by communicating everyday with Deaf people all around me.

But that is not why I invented SignWriting. I did not invent SignWriting because I knew Deaf people. I invented SignWriting first, as a movement-writing notation system, and while we used it in a research project at the University of Copenhagen, I began to realize that it could be used as a daily writing system too.

Later I moved from Denmark to the US and started a non-profit organization for Deaf education in California. We hired native-signing Deaf people to work with me on a research project named "The SignWriter Newspaper", and 10 ASL writers wrote articles in American Sign Language using SignWriting. We published the newspaper for 3 years, from 1981-1984. It was distributed to 11 countries and it stimulated people all over the world to realize that sign languages can be written - before that time no one thought sign languages could be written on a daily basis. And since then, SignWriting evolved and improved and changed to what it is today, because of thousands of writers worldwide.

History of SignWriter Newspaper
http://www.signwriting.org/library/history/hist005.html

Here is a a good answer to the question, Why SignWriting?

Why SignWriting? by Adam Frost
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtl7dmyHgJU

So SignWriting is a way to write body movement and can be applied to write any sign language in the world. I am not telling people how to sign. They know their own sign languages already and if they learn the SignWriting system they can write the languages they already know, by writing how the body looks and feels when signing...Certain norms have developed for writing in a simple fashion, or a more detailed fashion depending on the needs of a project or the writer, but it is a flexible and strong system that is really working as a daily writing system in several countries. There are research projects and schools using SignWriting in over 40 countries, partly because of our excellent software, such as SignPuddle (www.signpuddle.org) , SignMaker and SignWriter Studio...

See www.signwriting.org for more information...

See Who Uses SignWriting:
http://www.signwriting.org/about/who/

ask more questions!

Val ;-)

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On Feb 14, 2017:

Hi Valerie,

I would like to ask you:

- When you were a child did you have contac with deaf people?
- Why did you want to create a signwriting?
- Do you know sign language?
We are starting looking for more information about your method... We undertand that you wanted that every single deaf person around the world could get on each other, rigth?! Are there others reason?

Thanks a lot

Best regards
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