SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

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January 22, 1998

SUBJECT: "SignWriting Literacy Project"

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for your interest in our SIGNWRITING LITERACY PROJECT. Please forgive my delay in responding to your many important private email messages. I am answering each one in order of receipt, and there are 29 messages waiting right now.

If you are interested in participating in the program described below, please don't hesitate to write to me anyway (smile). Sooner or later I will catch up and we will definitely communicate!

So, here is the information on the project for everyone to read...


The DAC received a small grant from the Legler Benbough Foundation for the SIGNWRITING LITERACY PROJECT. With this funding, the DAC will donate the SignWriting Children's Stories Series and the Lessons In SignWriting Video Series & Booklets to teachers of Deaf children. In return the teachers are required to give the DAC documented feedback. The documentation will then be published on the SignWriting Web Site for others to study. It will also be sent to the Legler Benbough Foundation, which requires a detailed report on the use of their funding. The documentation may someday be used in published journals discussing the use of SignWriting in Deaf education.

No money changes hands between the DAC and the teachers. It is a free exchange of "materials and technical support in return for written documentation". In total, we will need exactly one letter and three "short reports" from the participating teachers.

Here is how the program works. Imagine that you write and say you want to participate. Then...

1. The DAC will send you (snail mail) the SignWriting Information Packet, plus a written description of the SIGNWRITING LITERACY PROJECT. We ask that you share this information with your co-workers, the parents of your Deaf students, and school administrators.

2. If you decide to participate in the program, we will then need an official confirmation from you (a letter on stationery with letterhead). Along with the confirmation, we will need "Short Report 1" about the school, the teachers and the students who will be involved (no names of course). This is important as background information. We need to know who will be participating in the program, the level of the student's literacy skills before starting the project, and so forth. We will provide you with specific questions to answer.

3. We will then send you the "Lessons In SignWriting Video Series" which includes two "half-hour" instructional videos and two booklets. You (and any other teachers or parents involved) will need to view the videos in their entirety, to feel comfortable with reading SignWriting. The videos will be free. In return we request "Short Report 2" on how you feel about the videos. Were they hard? Did you understand the symbols? and so forth.

4. Next, we will send you free copies of three children's stories: Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Humpty Dumpty and Cinderella. Included with the stories will be written technical support from the DAC. You are welcome to develop your own way of teaching. That is important - you will have TOTAL FREEDOM to teach as you choose. We are only here to help when you need us. You are always welcome to contact us with questions and suggestions.

5. When you have taught the Deaf children to read the three Children's Stories, then we will need "Short Report 3" summarizing how the students responded, the opinions of students, parents and teachers, what your teaching methods were, and whether you feel SignWriting has value in Deaf education.

We are hoping to start a Teacher's Forum on the SignWriting Web Site in 1998. Your "letter and three reports" will be posted there, to give information to other teachers.

If this sounds good to you, then please write to me and we can begin with Step 1 above.

I want to thank all of you for your interest and time. Hopefully, as we work together, the information we collect will benefit future classrooms :-)

Many good wishes -