In South Africa, Deaf persons have always been marginalised within the education system and within society. South African Sign Language (SASL) is in the process of officially being declared the 12th official language of South Africa, pending Constitutional adjustments. With transformation being a significant part of our societal structures, the government has taken stock of our diverse population and made necessary changes in the education system’s language policy. The alignment took place with the announcement of SASL officially becoming incorporated as an official home language, allowing students in high schools to elect it as one of their subject choices.
In an effort to address industry- or sector-specific Sign Language training needs, Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) presents the South African Sign Language Training Programme with the objective of customising in-house training options geared towards addressing a specific organisation’s needs and to upskill and develop staff accordingly. The training programme is broken up into three individual modules – Orientation, Level 1 and Level 2. These can be taken as individual courses or as a full programme.
Having presented this training programme across the country, in collaboration with the Development Institute for the Deaf and the Blind, to over 350 delegates in all the major centres in South Africa, Enterprises UP is a leader in presenting SASL training programmes in the country.
Above: A snippet of learning in action during a session of the South African Sign Language Training Programme. When the training kicked off, some words in the SASSA environment did not exist in the deaf community – we have found fun ways of co-creating new words to add to the SASSA vocabulary!
The SASL is presented in order to:
- equip hearing persons with communication skills to communicate with Deaf persons in South African Sign Language,
- understand the Sign Language of Deaf people when they communicate to hearing people, and
- make private and public institutions Sign Language accessible to Deaf people that will result in the appointment of Deaf people.
Above: SASSA officials that completed the South African Sign Language Training Programme.