The Status of South African Sign Language in South African Universities

  • Eventhough Ndlovu University of Zimbabwe

Abstract

This article examines the status of South African Sign Language (SASL) in South African universities. It provides an appraisal of the policy documents which regulate language use in South African universities in order to examine the extent to which the policy documents guarantee the educational linguistic human rights of deaf and hard of hearing students. In 2002 the South African Language Policy for Higher Education made it mandatory for all higher education institutions to develop their own language policies in line with the South African Language Policy for Higher Education. All higher education institutions were expected to submit their language policies to the parent ministry by 31 March 2003. The South African Language Policy for Higher Education and the National Plan for Higher Education emphasise the need for equity and redress in terms of access to, and success in higher education programmes. They stress the need for language policies of South African universities to be responsive to the needs of the disabled by developing SASL competencies and capacity. Against this background, this article examines the extent to which South African universities have complied with these requirements and the extent to which their language policies guarantee the educational linguistic human rights of deaf and hard of hearing students. Findings of this study show that although the majority of the universities have complied in terms on enacting language policies, some of the policies, however, do not convincingly guarantee the educational linguistic human rights of deaf and hard of hearing students, while others are completely silent on this right.

Author Biography

Eventhough Ndlovu, University of Zimbabwe

Lecturer, Department of Languages, Literature and Culture

Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1013-3445