International Movement Writing Alphabet
The International Movement Writing Alphabet (the IMWA) is an ordered set of symbols used to record movement, developed by Valerie Sutton. It was originally designated Suttons's Sign Symbol Sequence. The IMWA is used in MovementWriting which consists of five subdivisions:
SSS ID Numbering
The IMWA currently has over 27,000 symbols. Each symbol in the IMWA uses a unique Identification number that contains information about the category, group, symbol, variation, fill, and rotation. Each part of the ID number uses 2 digits, except for the symbol part which uses 3. Dashes are placed between the parts to produce the SSS ID number. Ex: 01-01-001-01-01-01
There are 8 categories: hand, movement, face, head, upper body, full body, space, and punctuation.
There are 40 groups. The keyboard design and symbol palete are based on the 40 groups.
SignBank is a FileMaker database. It is used to create and print dictionaries sorted by Sign Symbol Sequence, rather than just spoken language.
SignPuddle is an online sign language dictionary that uses the IMWA to create signs using drag and drop. The content of the online dictionaries is community supported. Currently there are over 38 sign languages respesented with each language having anywhere from a few signs to several thousand.
Historical symbol sets
The SSS-95 was the first computerized symbol set for SignWriting. It was designed for use with the original SignWriter Dos, written in Pascal. It was very limited in size due to memory constraints.
The SSS-99 was a revamped version of the Sign Symbol Sequence created to work with SignWriter Java. It featured additional symbols and more detailed graphics.
The SSS-2002 was the first Sign Symbol Sequence to use the current SSS ID numbering. It was in SignEdit.
The SSS-2004 was the final version of Sutton's Sign Symbol Sequence, with over 20 thousand symbols. It was renamed the International Movement Writing Alphabet to recognize the achievement that it was now possible to use this symbol set to write more than just sign language. The IMWA has been called the SSS-IMWA.