Grants talk:Project/slevinski/ASL Wikipedia 2-D Font Development for SignWriting/Archive 3

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Question[edit]

I'm not clear if this proposal is still open, but it seems to be in the proposal category.

  • This proposal talks about submitting to UTC. In context is that the "unicode technical comittee". Why are they involved? Is that a conference to submit what you're working on and get feedback, or is it something more instrumental to the grant.
The UTC is the governing body for the encoding of the world writing systems. SignWriting is partially in the Unicode standard, but it does not have the structures and positioning system officially approved. The two-dimensional font created by this grant will be used in a future proposal to the Unicode Technical Committee to complete the encoding of SignWriting in the Unicode standard. -Slevinski (talk) 17:55, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • What's the state of support for this type of font in browsers and operating systems (Not counting MediaWiki). If I have a text file with these unicode characters and the font installed, does it render? Can browsers render this text content out of the box (if font included with a web font). If not, does software exist to enable the complex rendering, what would the user have to do beyond installing the font to get this writing system to display? Bawolff (talk) 07:39, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, if you have the Unicode characters and the two-dimensional font installed, the SignWriting will render. This will work every place that the Universal Shaping Engine is supported. SignWriting will even display in Notepad.
If you browse to a webpage that uses these Unicode characters and you do not have the fonts installed, you will still see the SignWriting. A simple font-face declaration in CSS conditionally loads the fonts if needed.
There are currently three TrueType Fonts used in production and on websites. These can easily be installed on Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS. If the fonts are not installed, they can be remotely loaded. Consider this text demo without the two-dimensional font. The top textarea uses the SuttonSignWritingOneD TrueType Font and the SWU character set. The One-Dimensional font is an alternative view of the characters and fallback where the Universal Shaping Engine in not supported. The bottom section is a live rendering of the SWU characters with JavaScript using SVG with Private Use Area characters and the SuttonSignWritingLine and SuttonSignWritingFill TrueType Fonts.
-Slevinski (talk) 17:55, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

The difference from previous proposals[edit]

What are differences and similarities of the current proposal from two previous ones? Why do the participants believe that this time their application will be successful? Ruslik (talk) 17:58, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

The proposal is substantially the same. The technology choices outlined in this proposal are still solid and possible.
The major difference is that this is now an individual grant. This year we closed the Center for Sutton Movement Writing non-profit. SignWriting continues to spread, but government paperwork and unsuccessful fundraising efforts were wasting time and taking away from our real mission. The Center for Sutton Movement Writing is now an all volunteer organization.
I continue my efforts with SignWriting on a volunteer basis, with hosting fees for the websites supported through my individual patreon campaign for SignWriting.
I believe this time the application will be successful because it was attractive before and I have lowered the budget. SignWriting continues to spread. The cause is noble and the availability of the two-dimensional font for SignWriting will enable the Wikimedia foundation to carry out their vision to "imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge." Supporting this grant will help Wikimedia and sign language groups around the world move into the future. -Slevinski (talk) 17:55, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, Round 1 2020[edit]

IEG review.png
This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for Round 2 2020 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 16, 2020.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for round 1 2020 will occur March 17 - April 8, 2020. We ask that you refrain from making changes to your proposal during the committee review period, so we can be sure that all committee members are seeing the same version of the proposal. Grantees will be announced Friday, May 15, 2020. Any changes to the review calendar will be posted on the Round 1 2020 schedule.

Questions? Contact us at projectgrants (_AT_) wikimedia  · org.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 19:28, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback on proposal[edit]

Dear slevinski,

I have marked this proposal eligible because it does meet our requirements for review. However, I note that this proposal has previously been reviewed multiple times in this program and has not yet been selected for funding. We really appreciate your work to support the deaf community to have access to Wikipedia, and simultaneously, because this proposal appears largely similar to previous versions, I am sensitive to make sure it is clear to the Project Grants Committee what they should consider differently this time. Can you provide your answer to this question here on the talkpage, thinking of the committee as your audience?

Thank you for the consideration. I think support for this grant has increased over time. This is the third and final time I will be submitting this grant for review. The proposal is essentially the same. The technology stack is solid. The need is still there.
I keep going back to Wikimedia's Vision "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment." I think this vision is incomplete without a real consideration of deaf sign language users. Their brains are literally wired differently, where the language centers of their brain are connected to their eyes. While getting information in your primary language is important for spoken language, it is even more so for sign language.
No matter how sign language is supported, through video or a script, I think sending an open message of invitation to sign language users is a positive good. This grant is focused on SignWriting and builds on the successes we've had with sign language wikipedias on incubator. Supporting this grant will make it easier to integrate SignWriting with all of the Wikimedia projects and it will encourage sign language users to join the Wikimedia movement and see themselves as part of humanity sharing in the sum of all knowledge.


One of the concerns I am aware of from previous rounds is that SignWriting has not yet been widely enough adopted to make it clear that this project will have widespread impact among deaf users, except within a relatively small population of adoptees. It would especially be helpful if you could provide any concrete evidence you have now of the extent of adoption at this juncture. In particular:

  • How many people are actively using SignWriting at present?
  • What can you tell us about current contexts where deaf people can learn about or read SignWriting? Where and how is SignWriting used, at present?
  • What percentage of current SignWriting users are using it purely in academic settings, and what percentage are using it as their own preferred mode of learning in their personal time, outside of academic settings?
SignWriting is the dominant writing system in Brazil.[1] A master's in linguistics dissertation titled "A arte de escrever em Libras" by Gabriela Otaviani Barbosa found that SignWriting is used in 18 Federal Universities and in 12 public schools in Brazil. The History of SignWriting in Brazil appeared on TV INES: "A Vida em Libras – SignWriting – Escrita de Sinais". These resources are from 2017 and SignWriting has only grown since then.
There are thousands of SignWriters in Brazil. You can see a small slice on the Sutton SignWriting group on Facebook. New books in SignWriting come out regularly. For SignWriting in Brazil, there are annual conferences and several community groups. There is even a new academic journal focused on SignWriting. In Brazil, SignWriting is used in the deaf school system, in the deaf community, and in the hearing community that wants to learn sign language.
I wish I could provide exact numbers, but we have no way of really knowing. SignWriting is free to use and no one needs our permission. Every week, we find out about more projects using SignWriting. We have documented SignWriting being used in 60 different countries. Some countries only have a handful of writers, other countries have thousands with several generations of writers.

In most cases, we do not fund projects that seek to build Wikimedia projects in languages that are not already being actively used by the community in question for purposes relevant to educational sites like Wikimedia's. In other words, we don't just want to know what languages a community is fluent in, but which language or languages they are most likely to favor when they are seeking out encyclopedic information. In light of this, can you provide any information about how users of SignWriting currently meet their needs for encyclopedic content?

Some deaf can read a spoken language, but not all. Those that can read will have various levels of comprehension, from being able to understand individual words to being able to understand complex sentences and paragraphs. If deaf are to really share in the sum of all knowledge, they must access that information in sign language. It would be a shame to demand that deaf individuals master a second language so they can find general information.
Here is part of a report from the special school for the deaf located in the city of Porto Alegre by one of the teachers. This is a translation.
Since my entry as a math teacher in 2013, I can say that SignWriting is used more and more every year. Last year we developed a kind of institutional policy of ours, so that SW was in all the materials produced and in the classes of all subjects, especially in the first years, when children go through the process of literacy and literacy.
This year we hold a seminar focused on the SW and the pedagogical possibilities it offers. We were surprised to see the great membership of the school community and students, who also chose to attend the event. We are also happy to see that our students, especially the younger ones, have been able to express themselves and write, for example, letters to teachers - in the same way that hearing students do.
The option isn't between getting information in a spoken language or a sign language. The option is between getting information in sign language or not getting it at all. If deaf are nothing more than broken hearing people, then it makes sense to encourage the use of spoken language and rehabilitate the broken individual. However, if deaf are part of the beautiful diversity of humanity, then it makes sense to support them and their primary language which offers them the best levels of comprehension and knowledge gain.

Thank you for your feedback!

Warm regards,

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments and concerns. -Slevinski (talk) 14:48, 16 March 2020 (UTC)


GSOC[edit]

I would also add that it might be easier to propose this as a mw:GSOC project. We have at least one WMF engineer who has quite some experience with font creation and might be interested in mentoring. Nemo 08:17, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

I will say, though this is an unusual case, that sign languages are indeed languages very much used by the communities in question for educational purposes. They are not usually written, but we should support free knowledge for sign langugages generally, whether that be in video or the several written forms, of which SignWriting appears to be the only one suitable for literature rather than just academic dictionary use.--Pharos (talk) 01:18, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Understanding the impact[edit]

Hallo, It's not clear to me the impact of this project. I suppose that this signwriting is dedicated to people having disabilities like deaf people.

SignWriting is dedicated to people who write sign language. Sign language is valuable for every person to know.
  • Children both hearing and deaf can learn and use sign language as early as six months. The hand and the eye develop quicker than mouth and ear. Rather than scream, a child can ask for milk, water, a snack, or a favorite toy.
  • Hearing adults can use sign language in noisy environments like a bar, underwater, or for silent and unobtrusive communication in public.
Some consider deafness a disability, others do not. My deaf friend says she is not disabled because there is nothing wrong with her brain. If you studied the structure of her brain, you would see the language centers of her brain are hard-wired to her eyes. Alternatively, if you studied the structure of a hearing person's brain, you would see the language centers of their brain are hard-wired to their ear. This is an amazing difference and not something to dismiss as trivial. A deaf person's visual cortex will learn to pre-process language, just as a hearing person's auditory cortex learns to pre-process language. The diversity of human languages is something to cherish, especially when the contrast between an auditory language and a visual language will write itself upon our brains.

Anyways I have some questions:

  • Why sign language?
Humans are creatures of language. Our brains have two areas dedicated to language: one for parsing and one for composing. These areas of the brain develop as we are exposed to an external language through the ear or eye. Unfortunately, there is no way for a deaf child's brain to detect a spoken language without yelling or brain surgery. They may see the lips moving, but lipreading is an advanced skill and not the basis for core language learning.
  • Are they not able to read texts?
It is not that simple. Written language and spoken language are not the same. Before you can learn to read a language, you either need to speak the language or know how to write another language for comparison. For sign language in Brazil and Germany, their education system does just this. The deaf children learn sign language and SignWriting in school. Once they have mastered written sign language, they use those language literacy skills to learn the written spoken language of their country. There is no need to yell in their ears or drill into their brains. They do not need to learn voicing and lipreading to develop their humanity. While these skills may be valuable, they are not suitable for core learning or accessing basic information and human knowledge.
  • How many potential writers may you consider?
There are over 100 recognized sign languages around the world. Over 60 of those language have been written with sign language. Potential writers? Tens of thousands of deaf plus the rest of the world population. Learning a sign language is a valuable skill that is currently underappreciated. Interest in sign language continues to grow. Interest in SignWriting continues to grow as well.
  • To use this fonts someone should write and use them but it's unclear to me the potential number of writers able to use it to run a project inside Wikimedia.
The potential numbers of writers is much larger than you think and spans many of the Wikimedia project that currently exists. For example, the English Wiktionary includes an entire section on ASL written with a custom encoding. They had to create their own encoding because nothing already existed. Their encoding did not catch on with other groups and their efforts fizzled out.
This is the dual benefit of the SignWriting font. First, all of the effort to create and standardize the encoding as already been done. Second, there is an international community that already supports the effort.

These questions are useful to start to understand the impact because it's inclear to me the target and the impact. --Ilario (talk) 17:45, 12 April 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the questions and taking the time to consider the matter. -Slevinski (talk) 22:38, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

Is there a dictionary?[edit]

In looking over your proposal with my daughter (who knows some ASL), she asked if there is a dictionary for Sign-Writing. She was able to understand some of it without that, but it seems like a dictionary or a educational text of some sort would help. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MarkAHershberger (talk)

There are many dictionaries for SignWriting. You can look at the SignMaker dictionaries for 60 different sign languages. Some of the dictionaries have thousands of signs. Other dictionaries only have a few. Our main dictionary software is called SignPuddle. The older version 2 is still used with features that don't exist anywhere else. The newer version 3 is still in beta. Of course if we are talking about an ASL dictionary, the obvious project is wiktionary. This will be much easier with the availability of the two-dimensional font. -Slevinski (talk) 16:34, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for ASL Wikipedia 2-D Font Development for SignWriting[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
6.2
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
5.4
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
7.6
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
5.6
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • This project is aligned with Wikimedia priorities because we want spread all human knowledge to everyone -including deaf people-, but I'm unsure if this project may continue without Wikimedia grants.
  • It remains unclear to me the impact and the target. What is the need to satisfy? I suppose deaf people, but are they not able to read texts?
  • Providing people with better written language is always a plus.
  • It is a moderately good fit with our strategic priorities. The development of a sign language script for Wikipedia in itself is useful and will help us document more forms of knowledge. However, I am not convinced in sustainability and scalability, as there is no evidence yet that this is THE system that will be used for sign language writing, in particular I found that ASL dictionaries so far use other systems instead of this one.
  • I don't see how this fits neatly with the Wikimedia strategic priority.
  • Seems risky to adoption, because the signwriter isn't adopted in many places and it seems a project focused in a specific country / area. And, the sign language isn't standard across countries with same language.
  • Everything is connected with the need to have a sign language in WIkimedia projects.
  • The amount requested would go a long way towards actually getting a Unicode font that could be used.
  • Moderate because it is an innovative project and not a proven solution. I would gladly support technical developments to support the leading solution, however, this seems to be just one of the solutions. In addition, there is no impact related to Wikimedia projects, in particular, I am still not sure that we will be able to use this script in say, Wiktionary, once this project is completed.
  • It does want to solve a problem but not a key problem per se and definitely not a priority at this time. And I don't think this project could be replicated in any way.
  • I have no doubt in participant's skills. However, I have some doubt in the efficiency of the budget, I don't have a good benchmark on this.
  • I do not doubt the ability of the grantee to execute the project.
  • Steve has obviously gotten some people very interested in his project.
  • The proposer definitely did some community outreach, however, looks like the main aspect of the outreach seems to be around "this script or no script at all". Instead, I would be willing to see a discussion along the lines of "is this THE script we want to use for all sign languages on wikis?", and I don't see an answer to this question. In particular, I am not sure communities beyond ASL and Brazilian Sign Language are interested in it.
  • There is no sufficient community engagement. There are a handful of supports but about 60% of the supporters are either anonymous editors or IP editors. It looks like a canvassing has taken place off-wiki
  • I see a few problems with the presentation, because there is a previous experience in Brazil, but the international community isn't involved in the project, and it could be a little risky to get some universal adoption of the standard. I don't see more experiences from Europe or Africa to reach more interested people. But I see a improvement from previous grants requests, so I recommend change the project to a previous meeting (online, in Covid-times) to study the "standard" to be presented to Unicode (UTC), because, the standard would be universally adopted for everyone, not only Wikimedians.
  • Slightly inclined to "No". I asked to the project to answer me and these answers may change my evaluation but at the moment I can use what is in the project page.
  • Yes. We should support the written word for everyone.
  • I would be willing to support a project of a script for all sign languages on Wikimedia projects. I am just not sure this is that project. It is clearly a project to design one system, I think we need to be confident this is the system all sign languages are willing/ready to use to avoid funding a thing that is not universally adapted. This is a kind of evidence that we currently do not have.
  • I would not recommend this proposal for funding. This project does not look like something we should prioritize at this time. In addition, I agree with the past committee's previous decision.
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Opportunity to respond to committee comments in the next 6 days

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal. Based on their initial review, a majority of committee reviewers have not recommended your proposal for funding. However, before the committee makes an official decision, they would like to provide you with an opportunity to respond to their comments.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback carefully and post any responses or clarifications or questions on this talk page by 5pm UTC on Friday, May 15, 2020. If you make any revisions to your proposal based on committee feedback, we recommend that you also summarize the changes on your talkpage.
  2. The committee will review any additional feedback you post on your talkpage before making a final funding decision. A decision will be announced no later than May 29, 2020.


Questions? Contact us.


--Marti (WMF) (talk) 00:51, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

Responses[edit]

  • This project is aligned with Wikimedia priorities because we want spread all human knowledge to everyone -including deaf people-, but I'm unsure if this project may continue without Wikimedia grants.
No worries. SignWriting is well established and growing. Without this grant, the two-dimensional font will still be built, but it will just take longer and won't focus on usability in Mediawiki software.
  • It remains unclear to me the impact and the target. What is the need to satisfy? I suppose deaf people, but are they not able to read texts?
It is not that simple. Written language and spoken language are not the same. Before you can learn to read a language, you either need to speak the language or know how to write another language for comparison. For sign language in Brazil and Germany, their education system does just this. The deaf children learn sign language and SignWriting in school. Once they have mastered written sign language, they use those language literacy skills to learn the written spoken language of their country. There is no need to yell in their ears or drill into their brains. They do not need to learn voicing and lipreading to develop their humanity. While these skills may be valuable, they are not suitable for core learning or accessing basic information and human knowledge.
  • Providing people with better written language is always a plus.
I agree.
  • It is a moderately good fit with our strategic priorities. The development of a sign language script for Wikipedia in itself is useful and will help us document more forms of knowledge. However, I am not convinced in sustainability and scalability, as there is no evidence yet that this is THE system that will be used for sign language writing, in particular I found that ASL dictionaries so far use other systems instead of this one.
There is a vast difference between writing individual signs in a dictionary and writing extensive texts. I have seen little evidence of other sign language scripts being used for literature. Here is an excerpt from the English Wikipedia on sign language.
So far, there is no consensus regarding the written form of sign language. Except for SignWriting, none are widely used. Maria Galea writes that SignWriting "is becoming widespread, uncontainable and untraceable. In the same way that works written in and about a well developed writing system such as the Latin script, the time has arrived where SW is so widespread, that it is impossible in the same way to list all works that have been produced using this writing system and that have been written about this writing system."[2] In 2015, the Federal University of Santa Catarina accepted a dissertation written in Brazilian Sign Language using Sutton SignWriting for a master's degree in linguistics. The dissertation "The Writing of Grammatical Non-Manual Expressions in Sentences in LIBRAS Using the SignWriting System" by João Paulo Ampessan states that "the data indicate the need for [non-manual expressions] usage in writing sign language".
  • I don't see how this fits neatly with the Wikimedia strategic priority.
Wikimedia vision: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.
Looking for the Wikimedia strategic goals, I found these five goals:
  • Increase Reach
Many deaf are not comfortable with written spoken language and have difficulty extracting valuable information. If you want to reach them, you need to use sign language. SignWriting makes this possible.
  • Improve Content Quality
Being able to write sign language as text would be valuable to many existing Wikimedia projects. Having sign language as text makes it possible for multiple editors to improve the content quality. Using images or video raises the difficulty for adding new content and for editing existing content.
  • Increase participation
While increasing the deaf participation might not add huge numbers to the Wikimedia movement, it would be huge for diversity.
  • Stabilize Infrastructure
Moving the sign language wikipedias from incubator to production will be easier with a fully functional two-dimensional font.
  • Encourage Innovation
While the numbers may not be huge, enabling SignWriting within the Wikimedia projects will most definitely be in service to the Wikimedia vision.
  • Seems risky to adoption, because the signwriter isn't adopted in many places and it seems a project focused in a specific country / area. And, the sign language isn't standard across countries with same language.
SignWriting is an established international standard. No other sign language script comes close. There is no risk in adopting SignWriting. If people like it, they will use it. If a superior option becomes available in the future, then people will migrate to that. Passing on SignWriting will be a missed opportunity.
  • Everything is connected with the need to have a sign language in WIkimedia projects.
Being able to write and edit sign language will be valuable for every Wikimedia project.
  • The amount requested would go a long way towards actually getting a Unicode font that could be used.
Unicode is a priority for SignWriting. SignWriting is the only sign language script that has been added to Unicode.
  • Moderate because it is an innovative project and not a proven solution. I would gladly support technical developments to support the leading solution, however, this seems to be just one of the solutions. In addition, there is no impact related to Wikimedia projects, in particular, I am still not sure that we will be able to use this script in say, Wiktionary, once this project is completed.
This font will make it possible to use SignWriting in existing projects, especially Wiktionary. If you go to the English Wiktionary, you can find an ASL subsection where people tried to invent their own sign language notation because there wasn't anything else available. The two-dimensional font will replace ad hoc individual efforts with a well established international effort.
  • It does want to solve a problem but not a key problem per se and definitely not a priority at this time. And I don't think this project could be replicated in any way.
Not a key problem and not a priority? I can respect that. Once completed though, there wouldn't be a need to replicate anything. When the font is available, it will be able to be used.
  • I have no doubt in participant's skills. However, I have some doubt in the efficiency of the budget, I don't have a good benchmark on this.
The budget and plan are my best attempt to outline the work and direction. Things will change once I get started, so I have held off on the project because of finances and time. I have no doubt I can complete this project once started, but I don't want to start an extended project and have to stop half-way through because of life pressures. The grant will help me relax and focus on the problem and see it through to completion.
  • I do not doubt the ability of the grantee to execute the project.
Thanks. I appreciate the vote of confidence.
  • Steve has obviously gotten some people very interested in his project.
Thanks. Since I became involved in 2004 and brought SignWriting from the Dos world to the web we have seen tremendous growth and excitement.
  • The proposer definitely did some community outreach, however, looks like the main aspect of the outreach seems to be around "this script or no script at all". Instead, I would be willing to see a discussion along the lines of "is this THE script we want to use for all sign languages on wikis?", and I don't see an answer to this question. In particular, I am not sure communities beyond ASL and Brazilian Sign Language are interested in it.
SignWriting is the only sign language script with an ISO 15924 script code: Sgnw (2006). SignWriting is the only sign language script added to Unicode (2015). The Unicode proposal lists 40 languages that are written with SignWriting. I can show you a variety of writing for each of these sign languages. In order to get the script code and Unicode approval we had to show extensive documentation. We did. They were more than satifsied. Here's a nice page about SignWriting's use in Europe. No one requires our permission to use SignWriting, so we really don't know the true extent of SignWriting's use. Since our core group only includes a few people, we do not have the capacity to track down and document everyting that has been written in SignWriting. "In the same way that works written in and about a well developed writing system such as the Latin script, the time has arrived where SW is so widespread, that it is impossible in the same way to list all works that have been produced using this writing system and that have been written about this writing system."[2]
Just as I didn't ask Unicode to proclaim SignWriting as the only sign language script, I'm not asking Wikimedia to declare SignWriting as the only sign language script. The truth of the matter is that people want to use SignWriting and the digital encoding of SignWriting is nearly complete. This two-dimensional font is the last major component of that design. You can discuss what script you might want to use, but that's besides the point. The fact is that SignWritig can be used. I'm not asking that Wikimedia take a gamble on my idea, but to join in the international effort that already exists.
Other sign language script are interesting and I'm friendly with the ASLwrite group. They are discussing ideas of digital encoding and a Unicode proposal. However, you can not compare someone about to cross the finish line with someone who is only talking about training.
  • There is no sufficient community engagement. There are a handful of supports but about 60% of the supporters are either anonymous editors or IP editors. It looks like a canvassing has taken place off-wiki
I did ask SignWriting users to support this grant. I did not ask my family or friends. I believe every endorsement is honest and valid. Many are not involved in the Wikimedia movement, which is something I would like to change.
  • I see a few problems with the presentation, because there is a previous experience in Brazil, but the international community isn't involved in the project, and it could be a little risky to get some universal adoption of the standard. I don't see more experiences from Europe or Africa to reach more interested people. But I see a improvement from previous grants requests, so I recommend change the project to a previous meeting (online, in Covid-times) to study the "standard" to be presented to Unicode (UTC), because, the standard would be universally adopted for everyone, not only Wikimedians.
SignWriting is the only sign language script with an ISO 15924 script code: Sgnw (2006). SignWriting is the only sign language script added to Unicode (2015). The Unicode proposal lists 40 languages that are written with SignWriting. I can show you a variety of writing for each of these sign languages. In order to get the script code and Unicode approval we had to show extensive documentation. We did. They were more than satifsied. Here's a nice page about SignWriting's use in Europe. No one requires our permission to use SignWriting, so we really don't know the true extent of SignWriting's use. Since our core group only includes a few people, we do not have the capacity to track down and document everyting that has been written in SignWriting. "In the same way that works written in and about a well developed writing system such as the Latin script, the time has arrived where SW is so widespread, that it is impossible in the same way to list all works that have been produced using this writing system and that have been written about this writing system."[2]
  • Slightly inclined to "No". I asked to the project to answer me and these answers may change my evaluation but at the moment I can use what is in the project page.
Thank you for taking the time to review and question the proposal. I hope my answers help sway your opinion but I understand if they don't.
  • Yes. We should support the written word for everyone.
Agreed. I know it is weird to ask Wikimedia to help support the written form of a sign language script, but this isn't just a crazy idea I dreamed up, but a real world international project. The SignWriting digital design is nearly complete. I'm not asking Wikimedia to support an unproven idea, but to help us cross the finish line. I think this project is a great fit with the Wikimedia vision and it will definitely add to a diversity to Wikimedia project that other projects do not.
  • I would be willing to support a project of a script for all sign languages on Wikimedia projects. I am just not sure this is that project. It is clearly a project to design one system, I think we need to be confident this is the system all sign languages are willing/ready to use to avoid funding a thing that is not universally adapted. This is a kind of evidence that we currently do not have.
SignWriting is the only sign language script with an ISO 15924 script code: Sgnw (2006). SignWriting is the only sign language script added to Unicode (2015). The Unicode proposal lists 40 languages that are written with SignWriting. I can show you a variety of writing for each of these sign languages. In order to get the script code and Unicode approval we had to show extensive documentation. We did. They were more than satifsied. Here's a nice page about SignWriting's use in Europe. No one requires our permission to use SignWriting, so we really don't know the true extent of SignWriting's use. Since our core group only includes a few people, we do not have the capacity to track down and document everyting that has been written in SignWriting. "In the same way that works written in and about a well developed writing system such as the Latin script, the time has arrived where SW is so widespread, that it is impossible in the same way to list all works that have been produced using this writing system and that have been written about this writing system."[2]
  • I would not recommend this proposal for funding. This project does not look like something we should prioritize at this time. In addition, I agree with the past committee's previous decision.
Thank you for taking the time to review and comment on this project.
-Slevinski (talk) 15:22, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

  1. Costa, Edivaldo da Silva (2018). "Tendências atuais da pesquisa em escrita de sinais no Brasil". Revista Diálogos (RevDia) 6 (1): 23–41. ISSN 2319-0825. 
  2. a b c d Galea, Maria (2014). SignWriting (SW) of Maltese Sign Language (LSM) and its development into an orthography: Linguistic considerations (Ph.D. dissertation). Malta: University of Malta. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2015.  Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)