I've been curious about signing for a long time. My most concrete introduction came from some friends of mine in Seattle — who had been interested in signing for no obvious reason — who used signs to communicate with their young son, Avi, before he was able to talk. Apparantly it is quite common that toddlers are intellectually ready to communicate before their tongues are really up to the task.
Fast forward a few years, my daughter is ready to communicate but not to talk, so we tried some baby signing as well. It worked - simple concepts like "enough", "more", "hungry", "thirsty" and "music" formed a basic vocabulary.
The sign for music was her invention. When she was still a baby, we had a mobile over her changing table that you could wind up and it would play "la-le-lu". I would often play "Conductor" while the musik was playing. She copied my "conducting" game to signify that she wanted to hear the music box. Later she used that sign to mean she wanted to hear any kind of music.
Fast forward a few more years, on the way to work, I am approached by a nice young lady who invites me to make a contribution to the Swiss Federation of the Deaf. My curiosity is awakened, and so I decided to take a course in signing, which brought me to the problems I described in the FAQ.
Important works are never the work of just one person. Many people contributed to making the Fingerspell Flashcards what they are today. My daughter Julia was was the model for the first generation of pictures for this site (and still knows many of the letters). My wife Sabine provided me with space and time, and helped with the editing and translation of all texts.
I would especially like to thank
Zürich, January 2008