When I was around fifteen years of age, I wanted to learn Australian Sign Language to communicate with my next door neighbour's son. We'd talk over the fence, but finger-spelling was getting old and I'd often forget what I had been saying all due to needing to spell correctly. So, I attended night school and learnt about the silent world of the hearing impaired. I was the youngest in my class and the college I attended was situated in the worse part of Brisbane at the time (South Brisbane TAFE); and I was also working my way through high school as well!
Then, we were advised to purchase this dictionary to help our signing along; so we'd understand it better. I had to beg my Dad for the $50 or so it cost to buy the book (firstly having to put in an order for it).
Now, twenty years later, I still have this book on my bookshelf, and I still use it at various times. Auslan (Australian Sign Language) rarely changes; however, the dictionary does get reprinted once in a while. Now, the cover of this one is a little old; however, what's inside it is invaluable to me and anyone else who is serious about signing and communicating with the hearing impaired. I still sign to anyone who signs to me. It's just something I have done since learning this wonderful language. There is a steadfast rule I live by though: I never, ever, eavesdrop on two - or more - people signing in public. Their conversation is private and their own; and they can't help it that this is their only way of communications. In fact, seeing I've visited their silent world a few times and feel it's not them who are missing out, it's us.
I'm not sure who wrote the dictionary or the history of it. However, I have e-mailed the Queensland Deaf Society for more information and am awaiting a reply. If you'd like to know more about them. I've put in a link on the side bar where the other sites for book-related sites are. It will stay there permanently for anyone to use.