Valerie Sutton

From the Desk of
Valerie Sutton
La Jolla, California
Nov 9, 2004

SignWriting is the written form for hundreds of signed languages. There is a different Sign Language in every country. Some countries have more than one official Sign Language. And SignWriting can write them all.

SignBank is a multilingual SignWriting database specially designed to work in FileMaker Pro. It includes ten relational databases. Each database is programmed by Todd Duell, in a sophisticated and innovative fashion.

SignBank provides Sign Language users with an archive of illustrations, sign language video-clips and animation. Most importantly, it provides a way to find words by looking up signs, using SignWriting symbols, in the order of the Sign-Symbol-Sequence (SSS).

The SSS is to signed languages, what alphabetical order is to spoken languages. English words are looked up by alphabetical order. Signs are looked up by Sign-Symbol-Sequence.

For those who use Sign Language on a daily basis, whether they be deaf or hearing, SignBank offers the world of written Sign Language literature at their fingertips.

In the past, Sign Languages were criticized by hearing societies, for not having a written literature. No longer can anyone say that Sign Languages are not written languages, because we have SignBank dictionaries and literature to prove it! And we can print it out at a moment's notice, in multiple sizes and formats!

SignBank has brought written Sign Language into the Information Age...

In 2004, there has been an explosion of new software development in SignWriting. Programmers around the world have become inspired to develop new ways to use SignWriting in computers. And SignBank is one of the pioneering programs that has been the catalyst for other software development.

Without SymbolBank, which is one of the ten relational databases in SignBank, programmers would not be able to search and find the symbols they need for their software development. SymbolBank 2004 provides the complete symbol archive for the International Movement Writing Alphabet (the IMWA).

FileMaker programmer Todd Duell, of Formulations Pro, worked with me for several years, slowly taking my design requests and implementing them into FileMaker. Our first release was called SignBank 2002. Todd was amazing! For example, at the time we started the development we were told that we could not "lookup by a graphic". Even though this is technically true, Todd found an ingenious way around that limitation. Because of FileMaker's user-friendly graphical interface, and Todd's willingness to experiment with new ways to program FileMaker, Deaf children can now lookup by SignWriting symbols, even though they are graphics symbols...It makes learning visual and fun for Deaf children, plus it is an aid in learning to read and write spoken languages...

Continued next page...

Print this web page
from a PDF document

SignBank can be purchased or
downloaded for free on the web.

FileMaker Pro & Apple Macintosh
have made it possible to serve
SymbolBank on the web!
SymbolBank, in SignBank, is the database that stores the International Movement Writing Alphabet (IMWA).

The IMWA is used to write hundreds of Sign Languages around the world.

One of the ten databases in SignBank, is the SignSpelling Database. It stores information on the order of symbols inside each sign. The data from the SignSpelling database combines with the data in the SymbolBank database, to make sorting and printing large, multi-lingual Sign Language dictionaries possible.




Search Google



Webmaster: Valerie Sutton