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Deaf People? Is South Africa Listening?

There are one million deaf or hard of hearing people in South Africa.

The Deaf Federation of South Africa (Deaf SA), demand that South African Sign Language (SASL) becomes the 12th official language in South Africa.

Additionally, there is a new drive to make sign language accepted as a matric level subject in all schools. At the moment, South African Sign Language is not a subject and 75% of the Deaf Community cannot read or write.

Seventy five percent of the Deaf Community is unemployed.

Most Deaf People never get to matric. Very few ever reach university.

One in ten children in SA are born with some hearing-loss

Deaf kids often enter Grade R with no language because hearing loss happens as late as four years old; sometimes eight years old.   

Just getting any education is a battle. Even Deaf people at Deaf schools struggle because so few of their teachers can understand sign language.  This means many Deaf school leavers in South Africa have the same writing skills as an eight-year-old child who has full hearing.

Only 12 schools for the Deaf offer Grade 12 and they are in three provinces.

Very few teachers (14%) in schools for the Deaf can sign properly

International Week of Deaf People takes place 7-13th September, except in South Africa,; In South Africa  the whole of September is Month of Deaf People.

Deaf SA demand:

The Government makes South African Sign Language (SASL) used in all schools.

More schools for the Deaf receive funding and support to offer Grade 12 so that more Deaf people have a Grade 12 certificate and can enter university or college and find employment. 

Teachers receive specialist training in South African Sign Language (SASL) and Deaf Education.

There is a law to test all newborn babies for hearing

Early assistance must be available to parents of children with hearing loss so there are no language delays.

Deaf Education, contact

Deaf SA (011) 482 1610,
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Fax27 11 726 5873
Sms 082 333 4442

Written by Lana Jacobson for The Daily Sun


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