– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
According to the South African National Deaf Association, there are more than 4 million people today that identify as being part of the deaf or hard of hearing community in South Africa. The struggles that deaf people face daily, can only be imagined by the average person. People of the deaf community come from many backgrounds, some may be the only one in their family or at their workplace who is deaf or hard of hearing. Regardless of the circumstance, it is important for those surrounding them to be able to communicate with them.
On the 26th of October 2020, we at UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) launched our first online Sign Language programme. The intention behind this programme is to encourage the inclusion of those in the deaf community by assisting delegates to achieve an appropriate level of language proficiency in our potentially 12th official South African language, Sign language.
This programme does not only focus strictly on the language part of the content but the interactive sessions with the facilitator ensure that you can demonstrate the ability to successfully communicate practically with the South African Deaf community. You will leave the programme having developed communication skills using South African sign language and understand abstract as well as complex concepts. Understanding the unique history and culture within sign language is another important aspect of our content, which helps with creating a connection with the community whether it directly affects you or not
As a rainbow nation, we have a strong sense of community with those we identify with. It is only natural, with the various religions, cultures and ethnicities that exist in this melting pot, to be drawn to someone that shares your story. We cannot neglect the fact that those who are deaf or hard of hearing form a community of their own under the umbrella of our diversity. Communication is an essential part of life and bridging the gap between the hearing and hearing-impaired makes learning sign language invaluable.
For more information about this programme, please click here.
You can also contact us directly for more information:
T: +27 31 260 3795