I was one of the content experts for ASLCore Engineering and ASLCore Computer Science, and we periodically get requests from people asking if we can make a sign for some concept (or usually, some English word) or other.

The below is from my email response to the latest one, because I think it’s important thinking to capture publicly as an artifact of how I’m navigating this space at present.

I know what kanban is, and could make up ideas for how I might sign it - but what these folks are writing in to ask us for is basically “can you do more ASLCore?” And the answer is “no, because ASLCore is inherently a team sport, and right now, the team is not together.”

If one of the core project principles is that we really do need focused, in-person work with multiple language experts, content experts, etc. to come up with sign prototypes that are both conceptually and linguistically appropriate for these terms (and kanban is part of a set of related concepts around lean manufacturing; I’d want to make signs that work together to describe the whole system and not just come up with sign for “kanban” on its own), then we shouldn’t undermine that by trying to come up with one-offs outside that process by ourselves.

For our own use - absolutely! I wouldn’t survive a day at work without constantly making up temporary signs for random technical terms. But those are “signs Mel made up in the moment to avoid fingerspelling,” not “signs that should go on ASLCore” - they’re not the same thing.

I would be happy to contract to come out for another week of ASLCore Engineering or Computing adventures - and if that were to happen, I think it’d be a great idea to compile the terms that website viewers have written in and asked for, and to try and work on at least some of those. But I think that’s the space the work ought to happen in.

I’m glad people are engaging with the work! But I do think it’s important to clarify what the work is and how it ought to happen, lest we do exactly the thing we critiqued as inadequate (“people just make up signs on their own, in isolation!”