FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRETORIA , 15 March 2022
PanSALB CONDUCTS LINGUISTIC HUMAN RIGHTS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN THROUGH WORKSHOPS CONDUCTED FOR PARENTS OF DEAF CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY
As part of commemorating Human Rights Month, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is currently conducting a Linguistic Human Rights campaign, which amongst others, includes conducting workshops for parents of Deaf children in communities across the country. These workshops form part of continued efforts to implement the provision of the South African Sign Language Charter (SASLC) which was launched on 01 September 2020 by the Board to ensure access to quality information and service by the Deaf community.
The initiative is meant to educate parents of deaf children and their communities about Deaf culture, as well as to bridge the communication gap that exists between the hearing and the Deaf. This follows a perilous gab identified by PanSALB, through its structure, the South African Sign Language National Language Body (SASNLB) and consultations with the Deaf community, wherein it has been established that most parents living with Deaf children and their communities have little to no knowledge or information about Deaf culture, rights, values and their needs.
“Statistics indicate that 95% of Deaf children are born from hearing parents. This initiative, therefore, is meant empower the parents of Deaf children to not only teach them how to best communicate and accommodate their children at home but to also ensure that they understand the complexities of Deaf culture” said PanSALB CEO, Mr Lance Schultz. He added that the lack of awareness on SASL and Deaf culture in certain instances often resulted in the infringement of Deaf children’s rights. The workshops, therefore seek to improve the quality of communication, not only for parents of Deaf children, but also to create an environment that is both conducive and embraces Deaf culture through the inclusion of families, siblings, relatives living with Deaf children including their communities.
“It is critical that as society we acknowledge the great disservices that many marginalised groups have suffered in the past, and actively seek ways to redress and bring focus to the rights of those that have been relegated to the periphery. As we commemorate Human Right Day on 21 March, we must do so mindful of the amount of work that still has to be done to attain the vision for an inclusive and transformative democracy as prescribed in the founding provisions of our Constitution” concluded Mr Schultz.