Thursday, July 07, 2011

#CTM11 is also a meeting of #Wikmedians

Alice of #WMDE is one of the wikimedians present at communicating the museum. We talked about Wikipedia and the possibility of funding several projects by the German chapter.

What we discussed is funding the development and outreach for SignWriting. SignWriting is exceptional because it has the potential to alter the culture of all the people who use any sign language. There are several technical projects that need resources:
  • the work needed to get SignWriting included in Unicode
  • the work needed to include vertical scripts in MediaWiki
  • the work needed to include SignWriting in MediaWiki in vertical lanes
This is a substantial amount of work for a project, an organisation that has been underfunded for a long time. The relevance of this development is global; it has the potential to impact all people everywhere who sign to communicate. It will bring existing cultures to a state where what they do can be written down.

There are already two requests for a Wikipedia in a sign language. They have the special status of "on hold". The language committee considers these request as "eligible", we consider SignWriting as the only viable option to write sign languages.

What we are looking for is EUR 150,000.- and we know the German Verein has a program that allows for the funding of up to EUR 50,000.- This request for funding is on behalf of the SignWriting organisation; a registered charity under California law. The first 50K will be mainly used for the technical work needed.

As I promised Alice, this request is short and to the point. It contains all the relevant facts. I hope that the Verein will honour this request because of its relevance. I hope that the Verein will work with the SignWriting organisation to realise the other 100K, this is needed for the outreach and training in those places where SignWriting is still an unknown..

PS SignWriting is used in Germany.
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