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Basic information of the country/area
Name of the country/area Swaziland
Formal name of the country/area Kingdom of Swaziland
Country/area information The World Factbook (CIA)
Wikipedia (English)


Indigenous signs for "Swaziland"

Illustrations in the literature

"Swaziland" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 98.)

Spoken languages



Sign languages

Related sign languages:

British Sign Language

Population of Deaf/deaf people

The National Government’s official number of Deaf people : 60,000. Swaziland National Association of the Deaf's official or approximate number of Deaf people: approx 63,000. (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 country’s government does not formally recognise the country’s sign language(s).

2. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s)

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

Swaziland National Association of the Deaf (WFD member; established in 1989. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the deaf

  • 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:


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)
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:

We have only one school for the Deaf (Primary School since 1975); a High School is being constructed and shall be operational this year (July 2008)
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)

6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:

No information provided

Sign language interpretation

  • A sign language interpreter from this country participated in WASLI 2011 conference in Durban, South Africa (from WASLI Sponcorship Programme 2011, see 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:

3 Interpreters

2. Sign language interpreting qualifications.


3.The provider of the training for people who want to become qualified sign language interpreters:

Swaziland stated they have signed an agreement with the Government of Scotland, through the Scottish organisation Deaf Action, to train 15 interpreters.

4.The way Deaf people access sign language interpreters:

No information supplied.

5.The provier of the sign language interpreting services:

National Association of the Deaf

6.The area of life sign language interpreting services are available:

Social Services
Health/Medical Services
Employment Services
Court Services
Counselling Services
Financial Institutions

7.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:

Sign language interpreters receive payment for interpreting services : Others: NGOs are informed that any organisation or department, for example court, requesting the participation of the Deaf Association in their meeting is responsible to pay for interpreting services.

8.The average hourly rate of payment for sign language interpreters:

• R350per hour per for professional rates (29.90€ on 31st May 2008).
• Services for the deaf are R150per hour (12.82€ on 31st May 2008).

9.Sign language interpreters do not provide voluntary service for all sign language interpreting assignments.

10.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:


11.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters.

There is.

12.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :


Deaf communities and cultures

HIV/AIDS and disability: a pilot survey of HIV/AIDS knowledge among a deaf population in Swaziland

Religious activities by the Deaf

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Sign language dictionaries

The country does not have a sign language dictionary ( WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below)).


WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Sponsorship Programme 2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

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.


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Swaziland


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