History of SignWriting

Chapter 6
SignWriting Publications
Published in the USA
1990 - 1997

April & September, 1990
Lessons In SignWriting Textbook, First Edition
(no longer in print).
This First Edition was the forerunner to the textbook used today, Lessons In SignWriting, Second Edition.

February, 1991
Lessons In SignWriting Workbook, First Edition (no longer in print)
Students learn to read and write ASL, based on the Signing Naturally Videotapes, published by DawnSignPress. This workbook is no longer in print, but a new version is in progress.

September, 1991
Sutton's American Sign Language Dictionary, First Edition
850 ASL signs written in SignWriting. Paper Cover Bound. 56 pages. Written by members of the Deaf Action Committee. Prepared with the SignWriter Computer Program. This First Edition is no longer in print. It is the forerunner to the dictionary used today, the Second Edition.

NTID Technical Signs Manual Ten: Science
by the NTID team under the direction of Dr. Frank Caccamise. Manual Ten teaches signs used in Science. SignWriting symbols are used in the illustrations.

NTID Technical Signs Manual Eleven: Legal
by the NTID team under the direction of Dr. Frank Caccamise. Manual Eleven teaches signs used in legal matters. SignWriting symbols are used in the illustrations.

SignWriter Newsletter.
Written by members of the Deaf Action Committee. From 1991-1996, the newsletter was printed and mailed to around 7,000 people twice a year. Then in 1996, mailings ceased and the newsletter was posted twice a year on the World Wide Web at http://www.SignWriting.org.

Summer, 1992
Written ASL From Deaf People's Perspective
Poster presentation by Lucinda O'Grady Batch. Article discussing writing signs "down the page". Presented to an International Sign Language Linguistics Research Conference at UCSD, in La Jolla, California.

1993, 1994, 1995
Sutton's American Sign Language Dictionary, written in SignWriting.
This Second Edition includes over 3000 ASL signs. Comes in a three-ringed, hard-backed notebook with 5 sections: 1. "English-ASL" 2. "ASL-English" (sample only) 3. "About This Dictionary" 4. "About Sign Language", which includes lessons in reading and writing ASL grammar using SignWriting and 5. "About SignWriting", which teaches SignWriting symbols. Authors: Deaf Action Committee and Valerie Sutton. ISBN 0-914336-56-8.

1993, 1994, 1995
SignWriter Computer Program Package, version 4.3.
Sign Language Processing Program. With SignWriter, the signed languages, fingerspelling, and spoken languages from fourteen countries can be typed by switching country codes. Commands can appear on the screen in one of eight spoken languages: Danish, English, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish. Fingerspelling keyboards and signed language dictionary files are available for fourteen countries: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. The USA dictionary includes over 3000 entries.

SignWriter is designed for MS-DOS. It can be used on the Macintosh with SoftPC or VirtualPC. Requires 640K bytes of internal memory, CGA, EGA or VGA graphics, and about two megabytes hard disk space. Documents can be printed on US letter and A4 sized paper. Three kinds of printers are supported: Epson-compatible dot matrix printers, Hewlett-Packard compatible inkjet or laser printers, and Postscript laser printers. Includes a SignWriter Instruction Notebook with five manuals, seven disks, and full technical support. Designer and programmer: Richard Gleaves. Richard is also the author of the SignWriter Reference Manual, one of five manuals in the SignWriter Instruction Notebook. Shareware version also downloadable from the SignWriting Web Site at: http://www.SignWriting.org. Program Package ISBN: 0-914336-63-0.

Deaf Perspectives on SignWriting Video and Booklet
Available in all video formats. 17-minute video featuring four Deaf native ASL signers discussing opinions on SignWriting. In ASL with voice interpretation in English. Includes booklet with transcription of the video. ISBN 0-914336-71-1.

1994, 1995
Lessons In SignWriting Textbook & Workbook
by Valerie Sutton. For the serious SignWriting user. Lessons In SignWriting is a practical textbook that serves as a general reference book for writing the movements of any signed language in the world. Illustrations, diagrams and photographs are in American Sign Language. It teaches every symbol in the SignWriting system, plus offers practical applications for reading and writing. This Second Edition includes fifteen lessons in a three-ringed, hard-backed notebook. A separate workbook is included, entitled the "Symbol Workbook". Textbook ISBN: 0-914336-55-X. Symbol Workbook ISBN: 0-914336-57-6.

Spring 1995
Lessons In SignWriting Video Series & Booklets
Available in all video formats. Learn SignWriting at home or in the classroom with these two educational videos. The Lessons In SignWriting Video Series has been shown on USA cable television as educational programs. Two Deaf native signers, Lucinda O'Grady Batch and Kevin Clark, teach the basics of SignWriting in American Sign Language (ASL), with English voice and captions on the screen. The series includes: Video 1: Introduction to SignWriting (21 minutes) and Video 2: SignWriting Basics (31 minutes). Each video includes a booklet with a transcription of the English voice plus a review of the instruction. Series ISBN: 0-914336-72-X.

Spring, 1996
SignWriting Greeting Cards. Card designs: "Hello!", "Thank You!", "Get Well!" and "Happy Birthday!" written in American Sign Language in SignWriting.

Spring, 1996 - Spring, 1997
SignWriting Workbook Series.
Five workbooks designed to encourage students to write SignWriting on their own. Series ISBN: 0-914336-58-4.

The series includes...

1. Short Story Workbook
A person flying in an airplane, a clown, a ballerina dancing, a family of four, etc. Students are inspired to write a short story about the illustrations. Illustrations by Amy Blake.

2. Cinderella Workbook
The complete story of Cinderella illustrated on 30 pages. The students write the story in SignWriting in their own signed language. Illustrations by Jayne Gunderson.

3. Geography Workbook
Illustrations of maps inspire students to write about geography and their own country, culture and history.

4. Marine Workbook
Illustrations of marine life, fish, shells and ships.

5.USA Photo Workbook
Photos of items used daily in the USA.

August 7, 1996
Teacher's Report, SignWriting In Nicaragua
by Darline Clark. Darline describes her experiences teaching Deaf children SignWriting in Nicaragua in the summer of 1996.

September 20, 1996, First Posting of
The SignWritingSite
on the World Wide Web.
Special features demonstrating written signed languages are posted on the first and third Mondays of every month.

1996, 1997
Who Uses SignWriting?
Detailed reports and illustrations explain how SignWriting is used in ten countries. This booklet is updated on a regular basis.

1997, 1998
Second SignWriting Literature Series.
The series will include, when completed....

1. Childrens Stories written in ASL (see below)
2. Poetry written in ASL
3. Deaf Culture & History written in ASL

The SignWriting Children's Stories Series is an exciting new collection of colorful booklets written in English and American Sign Language. Well known stories come alive on the page with numerous color illustrations and SignWriting symbols showing the movements of ASL.

1. Goldilocks And The Three Bears Third Edition
Written in ASL by Darline Clark. Illustrations by Tom and Robin Christ. Posted on the SignWritingSite, April, 1997. Available in book form September, 1997. ISBN: 0-914336-40-1.

2. Humpty Dumpty
Written in ASL by Darline Clark & Dave Gunsauls. Illustrations by Lisa Moore. Posted on the SignWritingSite, September, 1997. Available in book form September, 1997. ISBN: 0-914336-41-X.

3. Cinderella, Second Edition (in progress)
Written in ASL by Darline Clark. Illustrations by Jayne Gunderson. Part One was posted on this web site November 3, 1997. Will be available in book form January, 1998. ISBN: 0-914336-42-8

4. Snow White (in progress)
Written in ASL by Darline Clark. Illustrations by Ida Candelaria.

5. Sleeping Beauty (in progress)
Written in ASL by Darline Clark. Illustrations by Ida Candelaria.

July, 1997
ColumnMaker, Add-On Program For the SignWriter Computer Program, v.4.3
Richard Gleaves created this small "additional program" that converts horizontal writing to vertical writing. The user can print files in either format. ColumnMaker now comes with the SignWriter Computer Program Package (see above).

August, 1997
SignWriter Computer Program, version 5.0
Richard Gleaves, who has been the sole programmer and designer of the SignWriter Computer Program for 11 years, passed the baton to programmer Richard Kadel, at DTAI, Inc, in August, 1997. Kadel, and others at DTAI, will be creating a new version of SignWriter in the Java computer programming language. Sutton is redesigning and adding to the symbol set, expanding the program into a more sophisticated "sign language processor". It is hoped that a test version of SignWriter 5.0 will be ready in 1998. The program will be "cross platform", available on the Macintosh and Windows.

September 22, 1997
Sutton's American Sign Language Picture Dictionary written in SignWriting. First posted on
the SignWritingSite September 22nd, 1997. Not yet available in book form. Projected publication date:
November, 1997. ISBN: 0-914336-50-9.

This First Edition in a "first attempt" at a special dictionary for Deaf children. We hope it will be useful, for both parents and teachers, as a language teaching tool. The signs are written on one side, the words on the other, with pictures inbetween. You can "cover up" the words to remember the signs, or "cover up" the signs, to remember the words. Vocabulary can be "looked-up" by word or sign.

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
P.O. Box 517, La Jolla, CA. 92038-0517, USA

Voice: (858)456-0098
Fax: (858)456-0020


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