|Name of the country/area||South Africa|
|Formal name of the country/area||Republic of South Africa|
|Country/area information||The World Factbook (CIA)|
Indigenous signs for "South Africa"
Illustrations in the literature
"South Africa" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 102.)
Related sign languages:
Population of Deaf/deaf people
- 12,100 deaf persons including 6,000 Black, 2,000 English white, 2,000 Afrikaans white, 1,200 Coloured, 900 Indian (VanCleve 1986). (Ethnologue web edition)
- The National Government’s official number of Deaf people : 402,847. Deaf Federation of South Africa's official or approximate number of Deaf people: approx 500,000. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)
Legal status of sign languages
- Status of the National Sign Language(s) from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).
1. The government recognises the country's sign language(s) in : the Constitution, Policy, Guideline.
2. The year when the country’s government formally recognises the country’s sign language(s): 1994
3. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s).
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status, is not used as the official language of deaf people and is not recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. (Government Implementation of the Standard Rules As Seen By Member Organizations of World Federation of the Deaf – WFD : Deaf Federation of South Africa (DEAFSA), South Africa , 1997.)
Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf
Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies
Education for the deaf
ST VINCENT SCHOOL the first school in South Africa to use the oral method of instruction for the Deaf.
Fulton School for the Deaf includes Pre-primary, Primary and High School Sections and caters for the specific educational needs of Deaf learners. SASL was formally adopted as the medium of instruction at the school.
- Access to Education from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).
1.The government recognizes that Deaf children and Deaf students have the right to receive an education.
2.Legislation or policies on Deaf Education:
- South African Schools Act: Norms and Standards for Language Policy in Public Schools (1996)
- An Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) (1997)
- Education White Paper 6: Special Needs Education (EWP6) (2001)
3.The government provides those educational settings for Deaf children and Deaf students:
- Early intervention (Up to 5 years old)
- Kindergarten (Between 3/4 years old to 5/6 years old)
- Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)
- Secondary (From 12/13 years old to 17/18 years old)
- University (After 18 years old)
- Vocational Education/Training
4.The government provides bilingual education using the country’s sign language(s) for Deaf children and Deaf students in those educational settings:
5.Total number of schools specifically for Deaf children and Deaf students in the country, and the educational approach for communicating with Deaf children and students at the Deaf School:
- 47 schools
- Oral Method
- Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)
- Auditory Verbal
6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:
- Four universities provide access to studies for Deaf people
- Sign language interpreting services are available
Sign language interpretation
- 'SASLIA (South African Sign Language Interpreters Association) has since ceased operating.' (WASLI 2011. WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011, See Bibliography below)
- Status of Sign Language Interpreting Services from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).
1.The number of sign language interpreters in the country:
- 30 Interpreters
2.Sign language interpreting qualifications in the country:
- There is.
3.The provider of the training for people who want to become qualified sign language interpreters:
- National Association of the Deaf
4.Total years of training to become a sign languate interpreters:
- Less than One Year
5.The number of sign language interpreters who have formal interpreting qualifications in the country:
- 20 interpreters
6.The way Deaf people access sign language interpreters:
- Through the National Association of the Deaf - the South African Sign Language Interpreter at the National Office co-ordinates interpreting services.
7.The provider of the sign language interpreting services:
- National Association of the Deaf
- Private Sector
8.The area of life sign language interpreting services are available:
- Social Services
- Health/Medical Services
- Employment Services
- Court Services
- Educational Services
- Counselling Services
- Financial Institutions
- Entertainment : Others: Interpreter in Parliament for the Deaf Member, and Media
9.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:
- Sign language interpreters receive payment for interpreting services
- Government pays
- National Association of the Deaf/Deaf Group pays
- Deaf people pay
10.The average hourly rate of payment for sign language interpreters:
- ZAR 468.00 for a half day (39.75€ on 31st May 2008).
- ZAR 1,870.00 for a full day (158.92€ on 31st May 2008)
11.Sign language interpreters sometimes provide voluntary service for sign language interpreting assignments.
12.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:
- Not independent from the National Association of the Deaf.
13.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:
- There is.
14.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :
- Integrated National Disability Strategy
- Draft National Language Policy
Deaf communities and cultures
Religious activities by the Deaf
Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages
Sign language dictionaries
Penn, Claire ed. 1992-1994. Dictionary of Southern African signs for communicating with the deaf. 1-5. Pretoria, South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council.
Kaneko, Michiko and Josephine Matla. 2016. Neologism in SASL (South African Sign Language): the process of creating new signs for linguistic terminology. Poster presentation at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Conference (TISLR 12).
Kaneko, Michiko. 2016. Onomatopoeic Mouth Gestures In Creative Sign Language. Oral presentation at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Conference (TISLR 12).
Köhlo, Mikhaela. A Perfect End: A study of syllable codas in South African Sign Language. Oral presentation at WOCAL8. 23 Aug. 2015. Kyoto, Japan.
Meletse, John and Ruth Morgan. 2011. HIV/AIDS and Deaf Communities in South Africa: A Conversation In: Mathur, Gaurav and Donna Jo Napoli eds. Deaf around the World, The Impact of Language. 307-315. New York, USA. Oxford University Press.
WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI country report 2011 South Africa Kampala, UGANDA.
WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011. Kampala, UGANDA.
DeafSA. 2009. Deaf Learners & Their Education Rights:Is South Africa Listening? International month of Deaf People September 2009 - Information Pack.
Stoｒbeck, Claudine, Lucas Magongwa and Ingrid Parkin. 2009. Education of the Deaf in South Africa. In: Moores, Donald F. and Margery S. Miller eds. Deaf people around the world: Educational and social perspectives. Washington,DC: Gallaudet University Press. 133-144.
Lavanithum, Joseph. 2008. The impact of using graphic representations of signs in teaching signs to hearing mothers of deaf children PhD thesis Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria.
Timothy Reagan. 2008. South African Sign Language and language-in-education policy in South Africa. In : Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics. 38: 165-190.
World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Southern and Eastern Africa (WFD RSESA). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People. World Federation of the Deaf. Finland.
Newhoudt-Druchen, Wilma. 2007. Are Deaf People in Developing Countries Advocating on a Political Level? A South African Perspective. In : Goodstein, Harvey ed. The Deaf Way II Reader : Perspectives from the Second International Conference on Deaf Culture. Washington,DC: Gallaudet University Press. 17-20.
Reagan, Timothy. 2007. Language-in-education policy in South Africa: The challenge of sign language. In : Africa Education Review. 4: 26-41.
Reagan, Timothy. 2007. Multilingualism and exclusion: American Sign Language and South African Sign Language. In : Cuvelier, P., T. du Plessis, M. Meeuwis and L. Teck eds. Multilingualism and exclusions: Policy, practice and prospects. Pretoria: Van Schaik. 162-173.
Heap, Marion and Helen Morgans. 2006. Language policy and SASL: interpreters in the public service In : Watermeyer, Brian, Leslie Swarts, Theresa Lorenzo, Marguerite Scheneiger and Mark Priestley eds. Disability and social change: a South African agenda. Human Science Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa. 134-148.
Reagan, Timothy, Claire Penn and Dale Ogilvy. 2006. From policy to practice: Sign language developments in post-apartheid South Africa. In : Language Policy. 5: 187-208.
Storbeck, Claudine and Lucas Magongwa. 2006. Teaching about Deaf culture. In: Donald F. Moores and David S. Martin eds. Deaf learners: New developments in curriculum and instruction. Washington,DC : Gallaudet University Press. 113-126.
Peel, Emma. 2005. Inclusive practice in South Africa: A Deaf education perspective. University of the Witwatersrand : South Africa. Unpublished master's dissertation.
Storbeck, Claudine. 2005. Educating the Deaf and hard-of-hearing learner. In: Landsberg, Emmerentia, D. Kruger and N. Nel eds. Addressing barriers to learning: A South African perspective. Johannesburg : Van Schaik. 348-362.
Kamei, Nobutaka. 2005. The Deaf in Africa (11) Multiple aspects of apartheid. In Sign Language Communication Studies (Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 58(2005.12):46-53.
WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2005. In: Country report 2005. 29. Kampala, Uganda.
Brookes, Heather. 2004. A repertoire of South African quotable gestures. In : Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. Volume: 14, Issue: 2. 186-224. Web-Enhanced Article: A Repertoire of South African Quotable Gestures.
Ross, Elenor, Claudine Storbech and K. Wemmer. 2004. Pre-lingual deafness. In: Ross, Elenor and Andee Deverell eds. Psychosocial approaches to health, illness and disability: A reader for health care professionals. Johannesburg : Van Schaik. 141-176.
Ross, Elenor. 2004. History of deaf schools in South Africa. Unpublished manuscript.
Aarons, Debra and Louise Reynolds, 2003. South African Sign Language: Changing policies and practice. In: Monaghan, Leila, Constanze Schmaling, Karen Nakamura and Graham H. Turner eds. Many ways to be Deaf: International variation in Deaf communities. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. 194-210.
Aarons, Debra, and Philemon Akach. 2002. South African Sign Language: One language or many? In: Mesthrie, Rajend ed. Language in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Aarons, Debra and Philemon Akach. 2002. South African sign Language: One language or many? In: Mesthrie, Rajend ed. Language and social history: Studies in South African sociolinguistics. 2nd ed.Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. 127-147.
Heap, Marion. 2001. An anthropological perspective of the Deaf people in Cape Town. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa: Department of Anthropology. Typescript
Morgans, Helen G. 1999. Where did South African Sign Language Originate? In : Language Matters :Studies in the Languages of Africa. Volume 30. Issue 1 1999 , pages 53 - 58.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1999. Linguistic, social and cultural perspectives on Sign Language in South Africa. In : Indian J. Applied Linguistics. 25 (1/2) 49-69.
Aarons, Debra. 1998. Community Agency for Social Enquiry 'The linguistic structure of South African Sign Language after apartheid. Presentation at Sixth International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research
Aarons, Debra and Ruth Morgan. 1998. The structure of South African Sign Language after apartheid. Paper presented at the sixth conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, November, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.
Aarons, Debra and Philemon Akach. 1998. South African Sign Language: One language or many? A sociolinguistic question. In: Stellenbosch papers in linguistics. Vol.31. Stellenbosch, South Africa : University of Stellenbosch. 1-28.
Aarons, Debra and Ruth Morgan . 1998. How many South African Sign Language are there? In: Proceedings of the 13th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. Sydney, Australia : Australian Association of the Deaf.
Reagan, Timothy, Claire Penn. 1997. Language policy, South African Sign Language, and the deaf: Social and educational implications. In : Southern African Journal of Applied Language Studies. 5: 1-13.
Storbeck, Claudine. 1997. Deaf adults' emic views on deaf education in South Africa: looking back to improve the future. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997). Eric, ED406808.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1996. Language policy, South African Sign Language, and the Deaf: Social and educational implications. Typescript.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1995. On the other hand: Implications of the study of South African Sign Language for the education of the deaf in South Africa. In : South African Journal of Education. 15: 92-96.
Reynolds, Louise. 1995. Philosophies and practices in deaf education in the Western Cape, South Africa, Signpost 8(2): 66-71.
Jones, Alan. 1994. Deaf awareness programs in South Africa. In: Erting, Carol J., Robert C. Johnson, Dorothy L. Smith, and Bruce D. Snider eds. The Deaf Way: Perspectives from the international conference on Deaf culture. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. 698-701.
Ogilvy-Foreman, Dale, Claire Penn, and Timothy Reagan. 1994. Selected syntactic features of South African Sign Language: A preliminary analysis. In: South African journal of linguistics 12(4): 118-123.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1994. The properties of South African Sign Language: Lexical diversity and syntactic unity. In: Sign language studies 85:317-326.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1994. The properties of South African Sign Language: Lexical diversity and syntactic unity. In: Sign language studies 84:319-327.
Simmons, Robert M.T. 1994. The role of educational systems and Deaf culture in the development of sign languages in South Africa. In: Erting, Carol J., Robert C. Johnson, Dorothy L. Smith, and Bruce D. Snider eds. The Deaf Way: Perspectives from the international conference on Deaf culture. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. 78-84.
Penn, Claire. 1993. Signs of the times: deaf language and culture in South Africa, In : South African Journal of Communication Disorders. 40: 11-23.
Penn, Claire. 1992. The sociolinguistics of South African sign language. In: Herbert, Robert K. ed. Language and society in Africa . Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. 277-284.
Penn, Claire, Timothy Reagan and Dale Ogilvy. 1991. Deaf-hearing interchange in South Africa. In: Sign language studies 71:131-142.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1991. Toward a national policy for deaf education in the 'new' South Africa. In : South African Journal of Communication Disorders. 38: 19-24.
Strong, Michael. 1988. A bilingual approach to the education of young deaf children: ASL and English. In: Strong, Michael ed. Language learning and deafness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 113-129.
Landman, K. 1990. Taalonderwys en die dowe kind (Language education and the deaf child). In : Journal for Language Teaching. 24: 42-53.
Penn, Claire and Timothy Reagan. 1990. How do you sign 'apartheid'? The politics of South African Sign Language. In : Language Problems and Language Planning. 14: 91-103.
Herbst, Johan. M. 1987. South Africa, Republic of. In : Van Cleve, John V. (editor in chief), Gallaudet College eds. Gallaudet encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness. New York : McGraw-Hill. vol.3. 184-187.
Herbst, Johan M. 1987. Sign languages : South African. In: Van Cleve, John V. (editor in chief), Gallaudet College eds. Gallaudet encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness. New York : McGraw-Hill. vol.3. 106-108.
Saleh, S. 1986. Signs used by pupils and teachers at the Lenasia School for the Deaf: a comparative study. Thesis. Johannesburg: Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand. [Incluing information of South African Indian Sign Language]
Nieder-Hartman. 1980. Talking to the Deaf: A visual manual of standardized signs for the Deaf. Pretoria :Government Printer.
Mocke, H. A. 1971. Die geskiedenis van die onderwys vir Bantoedowes in Suid-Afrika. [History of Education for deaf Black people in South Africa]. Unpublished Dphil thesis, University Pretoria.
Boyd, M. 1933. A mother and her deaf child in South Africa. In : Volta Review. 35: 64-69.
Engelbrecht, G. K. 1961. Die Dowe: die maatskaplike en ekonomiese posisie van die dowe in Sud-Afrika, met besondere verwysing na hulle rehabilitasie. [The Deaf: social and economic situation of the deaf in South Africa, with special reference to their rehabilitation.] Kaapstaad, Hollandsche Afrikaanse Uitgeweers Maatschappij. (Originally a thesis at the University of South Africa, 1956).
Dominican sisters. 1944. Schools for the deaf in South Africa. In : Volta Review. 46: 148-150.
1928. The Education of the Deaf in South Africa. In : The Teacher of the Deaf. 26: 175.
History of sign language research
Sign Genius.com : sign language software. "SASL Pro 3 DEMO" (South African Sign Language) 188.8.131.528 Win 98/2000/XP 15.5 Mb.
Thibologa Sign Language Institute, South African Sign Language
Integration of Signed and Verbal Communication: South African Sign Language Recognition, Animation and Translation.Department of Computer Science, University of the Western Cape
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