Why Deaf SASL interpreters

South African Sign Language (SASL) has been included in the Bill of Rights since 1996 as an indigenous language to be protected. In 2015 a brave Deaf learner initiated a court case against the Department of Education, demanding that SASL should be a subject in school. The result was that SASL would be offered as a home language subject for the first time and in 2018 the first matriculants completed their schooling with SASL as a subject. But while talks of SASL becoming the twelfth official language have been in the works for much longer, progress in terms of Deaf access, recognition, and empowerment has been slow. One of the chief means in which upliftment is being enacted, however, is through the increased presence of Deaf and hearing SASL interpreters in the spaces where they are needed most.

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