A Heartfelt Thanks
to supporters of the
SignWriting Literacy Project


Charity Car Donation

Your car, auto, vehicle, truck, van, motorcycle or boat donation can assist
the SignWriting Literacy Project!

Fast Free Pickup Nationwide.

Donate your car to
help the SignWriting Literacy Project

Spring-Summer, 2004

The National Association of Police and Lay Charities, a 501c3 non-profit organization, helps children feel safer, by providing teddy bears and other services, while the police are taking care of the children. Dubbed as the "TeddyBear Cops", the NAPLC receives funding from vehicle donations.

In 2004, your donation of a car, auto, vehicle, truck, van, motorcycle or boat will help deaf children too!

So please donate your vehicle to the Police and Lay Charities. The proceeds will help fund our SignWriting Literacy Project for Deaf Children. THANK YOU!


February, 2004

Time-Warner Corporation Provides a High-Speed Internet Connection For The New SignBank Online Dictionary

RoadRunner Business Class Service provides high-speed cable internet connections for small businesses. It is very fast. As a non-profit organization, we do not have the funds to pay full price for this fast internet service, but we need the speed, because we now have a web server in our home office. It provides our SignBank Online Dictionary on the web, which is used by classrooms with deaf students around the world. THANK YOU to RoadRunner and Time-Warner, for helping us reach Deaf people in 27 countries!

January, 2002

FileMaker Corporation Donates Five Copies of FileMaker Pro 5.5 to our nonprofit Center For Sutton Movement Writing, so that deaf children at the Hodgin Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can beta test our new program: SignBank 2002...



SignBank 2002: Using FileMaker In Deaf Education
FileMaker is award-winning database software for Windows and the Macintosh, developed by Apple Computer. As one of the world's most popular database programs, FileMaker is used by millions of small businesses to create databases that manage projects, assets, medical records, inventory, bookkeeping and payroll. But don't let the friendly visual user-interface fool you! FileMaker is exceptionally powerful, equaling, if not surpassing, the capabilities of competing database software.

Now in 2002, FileMaker will be used in Deaf Education and Sign Language Linguistic Research, because of an ingenious new database design called SignBank 2002. The brainchild of SignWriting inventor Valerie Sutton, SignBank brings literacy to born-deaf children and adults through SignWriting, a visual way to write the handshapes, movements and facial expressions of any Sign Language in the world.

Contrary to popular belief, Sign Languages are not international. They are rich languages with large vocabularies and unique grammar structures, that differ from culture to culture, just as spoken languages differ from country to country. SignWriting is becoming the written form for Sign Languages, and small pockets of educators and researchers in 27 countries are beginning to use SignWriting to improve Deaf Education.

Supplying born-deaf children with a written form for their native Sign Language, is believed by some educators, to be the key to literacy for some deaf children. And SignBank 2002, in FileMaker Pro 5.0, is a computer program tailored to test this educational theory, giving researchers study tools, and deaf people a dictionary that is easy to use.

In SignBank, written signs are stored and sorted by the visual handshapes, movement arrows and facial expressions of SignWriting. This sequence of symbols is called Sutton's Sign-Symbol-Sequence (SSS).

To program FileMaker to sort dictionaries by SSS was no easy task for FileMaker programmer Todd Duell, of Formulations Pro in San Diego. Todd succeeded in stretching FileMaker's capabilities, working side by side with Valerie Sutton to create a successful SSS lookup system.

SignWriting symbols are easy to read for those who use Sign Language. By providing a way to search for words with visual SignWriting symbols as the "search method", words can be found in the dictionary, listed, and printed. Illiteracy levels are high among the born-deaf. Reading spoken language is based on sounds the born-deaf have never heard. So for some, this will be the first time they have ever been able to look up a word in a dictionary.

SignWriting has been used in the Albuquerque Public Schools on an experimental basis since 1999, through the SignWriting Literacy Project. The teachers who use it feel strongly that literacy levels are improving in their students. The Albuquerque Public Schools will be the site for beta testing SignBank, which hopefully will make its official release to the general public in Fall, 2002.

So, from the perspective of FileMaker Corporation, the idea of deaf children age 6, using their business software, is a new one! But SignBank developers Valerie Sutton and Todd Duell feel that the year 2002 will prove that the visual nature of FileMaker will benefit the visual world of the born-deaf. A natural partnership!

Thank you, FileMaker Corporation, for making all this possible!

SignBank-FileMaker News Release

...in pdf format...


December, 2001
The San Diego Foundation Dr. Seuss Fund
at the recommendation of Mrs. Audrey Geisel, funded the on-going development of SignBank. SignBank is specially-designed database software built in FileMaker Pro 5.0, developed by Valerie Sutton and the nonprofit Center For Sutton Movement Writing. Assisting classrooms of Deaf children to learn to read and write, SignBank will bring SignWriting into the daily lives of thousands of Sign Language families, students and researchers, who until now, had no way to read and write their Sign Languages. With an international user interface in multiple languages, SignBank provides immediate accessibility to the SignWriting Online Dictionary. Thank you, Mrs. Geisel, for your continued support!

March 22, 2000
Viking Office Products

Because we publish books that are colorful for Deaf children, we use A LOT of color ink cartridges for our Epson Ink Jet Printers. Our printers are working all day, to bring donated materials to Deaf children. Meanwhile, color ink is very costly. So it is expensive to print our books in color.

That is why we feel so fortunate to receive our office supplies regularly from Viking Office Products.

When Charlotte Bradley, the Director of Community Relations for the international Viking Office Products, was kind enough to offer to donate color ink to our cause, I literally jumped up and down for joy! And then I danced around the room - ha!!

And why not?It is rare to meet such generous people, and when one does, it is cause for celebration!

Thank you, Viking Office Products, for making our Spring, 2000, book series possible for Deaf chidlren!

March 28, 2000

Vivian Elliott of Ameriphone kindly arranged for a donation of a TTY/TDD for our SignWriting office. This is important because the TTY is used to receive text messages from the Deaf Community. Teachers of the Deaf, and parents, can call to request donated SignWriting books, videos and software. The SignWriting Litereacy Project provides these materials free of charge in return for feedback. If you are interested, call TTY: 858-456-0010, and leave a message on our NEW tty!! Many many thanks, Vivian and Ameriphone!

October, 1999
The Seuss Foundation

Mrs. Audrey Geisel funded one school participating in the SignWriting Literacy Project, for the year 2000 Spring semester. The funds help our Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting (the DAC) donate SignWriting books, videos and software to 20 deaf children, and assist their teachers with technical support. The funds will also help with the costs of publishing and disseminating feedback from the teachers, for the benefit of future classrooms. Thank you, Mrs. Geisel, for your continued support of our SignWriting Literacy Project!

July 22, 1999


Gerald & Inez Grant Parker shared a lifetime of devotion to the betterment of the community. The Parker Foundation is dedicated to continue their legacy.

You can imagine how grateful we feel that the Parker Foundation lent its support to the programming of our new computer program, SignWriter 5.0!

Our nonprofit organization is unusual. As innovators, we are breaking new ground, both in deaf education and software development. SignWriter 5.0 is a very special and unique program. In the Summer 99, we embarked on a new design for a user's interface for SignWriter 5.0. This is the first time in history that a computer program includes Menus written in different Sign Languages.

The result of the summer's work is a new and flexible Multi-Lingual User's Interface that teaches different languages, while navigating through the program. It is an excellent tool for deaf educators with born-deaf students who have low language skills. It even teaches languages to hearing people!! Everyone learns from using SignWriter 5.0's Multi-Lingual User's Interface.

So although the programming of SignWriter 5.0 is clearly an ongoing project, we did accomplish a milestone. Three foundations made the Multi-Lingual User's Interface possible, and the Parker Foundation was one of them. There are not enough words to express our gratitude. Thank you!!

June 23, 1999
San Diego
Gas & Electric Company
The Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting sincerely thanks our community partner, San DiegoGas & Electric Company, for contributing funds to underwrite the materials needed for our SignWriter Computer Program. SDG&E looks for programs that get to the heart of issues or problems and this particular program certainly meets that criteria. Our thanks to SDG&E for helping our children learn to read!

June 28, 1999
Hewlett Packard Philanthropy

the world-renowned manufacturers of computers and software, also have a very kind heart! They have established several programs to help education.You can read about it on their excellent web site:

Hewlett Packard Philanthropy

Soooooo....guess what?! Hewlett-Packard was kind enough to donate a computer to our Deaf Action Committee to assist us with the further programming and development of our new computer program for the Deaf, SignWriter 5.0, which will be cross-platform for both Windows and the Macintosh. To accomplish this, we are using the Java programming language, to create a stand-alone application. Java requires modern machines and modern operating systems. Just last May, we had one older computer that was too slow to run Java. So the new Hewlett Packard Pavilion computer with a built-in Zip Drive, Windows 98, a monitor and a keyboard was a welcome gift. Thank you, Hewlett-Packard, for helping Deaf Education!


May, 1999

the developers of well-known software, such as Macromedia Director, Freehand, Fontographer, Shockwave, & Dreamweaver, generously donated copies of Fontographer to our nonprofit organization. This is a great help to us, since we are in the process of improving our SignWriter Computer Program. SignWriter 4.3 is in MS-DOS. We are working on a new version, SignWriter 5.0, for Windows and the Macintosh. Macromedia's gift of Fontographer makes it possible for us to develop our own fingerspelling fonts and other unique fonts related to typing signed languages. The fonts can be used by themselves, or in conjunction with the SignWriter Computer Program. In time, these fonts will be free to download. So we are busy as little bees working with Fontographer, which is a very sophisticated program. Thank you, Macromedia, for making this possible!


April, 1999
Epson America Inc.

once again generously donated the color ink cartridges necessary to print 125 children's books for classes in the Spring & Summer. Deaf children in the Albuquerque Public Schools are starting with beginning books this Spring, and will need more advanced books by the Fall. A new homeschool with a Deaf child is also starting at the beginning level this summer. And Jordan Vocational High School, in Columbus, Georgia, is using our books with older Deaf students who need to achieve better literacy levels. We print each color book ourselves, on three Epson Stylus Color 800 Printers- The Epson printers are working 10 hours daily in our office at home. We then laminate the covers and bind the books. And the sturdy little Epson printers just keep on working for us, giving us outstanding quality at a very low cost!
Thank you, Epson, once again, for contributing to Deaf literacy!


February, 1999
Jonathan's Fine Foods of La Jolla

was kind enough to donate the refreshments for our Annual SignWriting Membership Meeting, held on February 7, 1999. Everyone enjoyed the delicious food and drinks - thank you to everyone at Jonathan's!!


December, 1998
The San Diego Foundation Dr. Seuss Fund
at the recommendation of Mrs. Audrey Geisel, funded one school participating in the SignWriting Literacy Project, for the 1999 Spring semester. The funds will help our Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting (the DAC) donate SignWriting books, videos and software to 25 deaf children, and assist their teachers with technical support. The funds will also help with the costs of publishing and disseminating feedback from the teachers, for the benefit of future classrooms. Thank you, Mrs. Geisel, for your continued support of our SignWriting Literacy Project!


September, 1998
Epson America Inc.

donated the color ink cartridges necessary to print 200 children's books for the Fall semester. We printed each book ourselves, on our trusty Epson Stylus Color 800 Printer - an excellent printer!Thank you, Epson, for making the Fall 98 semester possible!


December, 1997
Legler-Benbough Foundation

gave a small sum as seed funding to start the project. The funding was used to develop and distribute the three specially-designed children's books, which are the first books donated to the schools who participate in the SignWriting Literacy Project. The books were first distributed in the Fall semester, 1998.

Please help the SignWriting Literacy Project!
All donations are tax-deductible.

Nine schools for the deaf are waiting in line to join, but we do not have the funds to include them. Just a small amount can benefit deaf children for one semester. They will receive donated books, videos and software for the classroom, and the teachers are provided with free technical support. Complete documentation and grant proposals can be provided. Sponsors can even choose which school they wish to benefit.


Center For Sutton Movement Writing

a non-profit educational organization
P.O. Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
858-456-0098 voice, 858-456-0020 fax