Springtime – National Month of the Deaf in South Africa!

September is the National Month of the Deaf in South Africa.

This image from DeafSA is available for download, re-sharing, and setting as profile picture.



Cape Town – hearing families of Deaf individuals

Greetings, as promised we are sharing information about relevant SASL events here.

Coming event in Heathfield:


Deaf culture and sign language programme at the Deaf Community of Cape Town for hearing families of Deaf individuals on 13 and 14 September.

Click here to link to the DCCT facebook page for more information.

Please respond via their Facebook page or contact DCCT directly.


SASL Poetry with SLED and WITS University – in McGregor

Participate in South African Sign Language Poetry with some your favourite SASL poets and top South African Sign Language academics!

Sign Language Education and Development (SLED) and the SASL Department of the School of
Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand will be presenting at the McGregor Poetry Festival. (Click here to reach the Poetry Festival website) 

The Saturday programme is open to all:

Event #57 at 12:00 Workshop: Creating South African Sign Language poetry. Presented in South African Sign Language and interpreted into English.
Event #92  at 16:30 Poems for the eye, from the Deaf heart. Presented in South African Sign Language and interpreted into English.

Bookings via Computicket.

The Thursday programme (strictly for fluent first language SASL users only) may already be fully booked – Event #01 / 11:00 – 15:30 / Workshop: Creating South African Sign Language Poetry: Haiku


2017 Seeking an opportunity to learn SASL

Trying to learn South African Sign Language must feel like looking for an oasis in the desert for many who read this blog.   Training providers like ourselves have to make difficult decisions about priorities.  Sadly some other excellent training providers have also limited their focus to particular groups rather than offering general opportunities to members of the public to learn SASL.   We are currently in communication with some possible opportunities where we could refer those keen to learn SASL for all the many beautiful reasons people want to study the language.   
SLED works mostly in Deaf education.  We develop learning at teaching support materials, and train teachers in teaching SASL literature within the curriculum, in using SASL as the language of learning and teaching, and in teaching Deaf children good written English and we also teach South African Sign Language to teachers.  
We also offer public SASL classes, if we have the opportunity in our schools schedule.   However, we regret to inform you that we are fully booked for 2017 with work in Deaf education.
You can subscribe to this blog by filling your email  in the “Follow” option on the home page, and responding to the confirmation email.   Please so subscribe by email to this page if you want to be kept up to date.  We will also be sending out SASL options offered by other organisations. 
We also update our website and our Facebook page SLEDsignlanguage regularly. 
If you are the parent of a Deaf child, please let us know. 
We sell a “SASL Dictionary for Families of Young Deaf Children“  You can click on the title for a preview.  It comprises an illustrated book covering many ordinary daily life events, and a DVD that matches the book, and shows each sign in a correct SASL sentence.  The cost is R285 (including VAT) but excluding packaging and postage. With postage it comes to R335 within South Africa.  If you order a copy, we issue a proforma invoice, and then you can pay by bank deposit or EFT. We mail it as soon as you have paid.
If you have any questions, please do email us at sasl@sled.org.za   
Photo credit: Prexels

All I want for Christmas….

“I don’t want a toy car for Christmas.  I want my Mommy to know how to sign – that’s what I really want.”

Suddenly the boy saw a bright light shining in the window he rushed to the door.   There was a sleigh flying through the sky driven by a fat, jolly man with a wide belt and a bushy beard.

He stopped next to the boy.    “These reindeer are giving me problems!” he complained.

“You can sign!” exclaimed the boy.   “Oh hello there – yes I can sign.”

“Your reindeer are giving you problems?”   “Oh yes they’re a problem.”  “I could give you the oxen that I herd?”

“That’s just right – let’s swap them!”  “Yes let’s swap!”

“So there they are! My sleigh is ready.  Come on!  Sit next to me.  Off we go!”   The sleigh took off and flew into the air.  Looking down there was a herd of rhinos stampeding across the African plain.  Father Christmas stopped the sleigh and looked admiringly at a rhino.


He took a present from the back of his sleigh and threw it at the rhino that skilfully caught it on its horn.

“Thank you!”

“My pleasure! Bye”

Father Christmas got back into the sleigh and soon they were flying through the air again.  On they flew until they saw a tall thing.  After flying around it, Father Christmas stopped the sleigh.

“What’s that?”

“Oh that’s Mandela’s statue.”

“Mmm is that so?”

“He was a very special leader.”

Father Christmas respectfully tipped his hat before urging the oxen back into the sky.

They flew and flew until they saw something exciting happening far below.   Father Christmas stopped the sleigh and quickly climbed out.

“Come on!” he signed.

He started to dance like the others with his big tummy shaking.   He threw his legs into the air and stomped them down hard.   The boy joined in too and everyone was dancing.

“Oh dear it is late.  The sun will be up soon.  We need to go.”   He threw presents at the dancers.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

“My pleasure!”   Soon the sleigh was flying through the air.

They flew and flew until they stopped outside the boy’s home.  “Off you go now.  Go to sleep.  Off you go.”

“But where’s my present?”

“Oh not today.  Not yet.  Tomorrow your present will be there.  Off you go. Go to sleep. Go.”

The boy reluctantly climbed out of the sleigh and walked towards the house.   Father Christmas was soon flying away.


“Hey! Wait! What about my oxen?”   But Father Christmas was gone.  The boy looked at the reindeer.  Oh well….

He walked into the house and was soon fast asleep.

The sun rose.

The boy woke up, threw off his covers and jumped out of bed.   He ran to look for his present but there was nothing there.  He was very upset.

“Father Christmas is a liar!   He said my present would be here and there is nothing!”

Just then someone tapped him gently.

“Whose a liar?”

“You can sign!”

Is your dream to become a SASL Interpreter?

It is heartwarming to know how many South Africans dream of becoming good South African Sign Language Interpreters.  As with becoming an interpreter between any two languages, to start off you need to be fluent in both languages – SASL and at least one other South African language.

To learn South African Sign Language you need to “budget”  the same intensity and time you would require to learn any other new language.  SLED’s public SASL courses at NQF Levels 4 and 5 are one way to start learning SASL well.   You can follow this page by subscribing (see below the calendar on the right) to keep up to date with SLED’s public class opportunities.

If you are seriously planning to become a SASL interpreter, we recommend that you also contact Delphin Hlungwane, National SASL interpreter & SASLI services coordinator at DeafSA, to find out what the whole journey to becoming an fully fledged interpreter would entail.  This will help you to plan so that you are not disappointed at a later stage.

Her contact details are:  Tel  27 11 482 1610; Fax 27 11 726 5873; Skype : national.sasli; Email: nationalsasli@deafsa.co.za.  She is based at DeafSA 20 Napier Road, Richmond (in Johannesburg), 2092.

If you want more information, you can contact SLED at sasl@sled.org.za.