John D. Bonvillian; William Boone Bonvillian

Published On


Page Range

pp. xi-xxiv

Print Length

13 pages

Preface and Acknowledgments

  • John D. Bonvillian (author)
  • William Boone Bonvillian (author)
The Preface and Acknowledgements section provides a personal look by the primary author into the initial request for a simplified form of signing to use with persons with autism at the Grafton School in Virginia in the 1980s. Since little research into the development of sign language skills in children had been done at that time, the primary author felt that investigators first needed to document sign language acquisition by the typically developing signing children of Deaf parents. After this initial foundation of knowledge was established, then the focus could turn to sign language acquisition by atypical populations. The onset of the actual Simplified Sign project in 1998, and its subsequent development over the decades since, are covered with a focus on the contributions made by the authors as well as by the many University of Virginia students involved in the sign testing and by various persons who provided feedback on earlier versions of the chapters in this manuscript. Finally, a short Postscript by the primary author’s brother summarizes the work done on the Simplified Sign project since the passing of Dr. John Bonvillian in 2018.


John D. Bonvillian


William Boone Bonvillian