Language is fundamental for social interaction, personal development and abstract thinking and, for the majority of people, acquiring a language during childhood occurs unconsciously, automatically and mostly naturally. Every individual develops an internal set of language rules based on communicating with others who use the same language. Language development is thus a creative process that requires a child to actively process the information he or she receives. As we now know, hearing children get this information by hearing spoken language in natural interaction with other people in the environment, not through imitation or training.
South African Sign Language is probably our oldest indigenous language, and is the most basic human right of the Deaf Community. It has become widely recognised and protected in various legislative and governmental policies (and is even acknowledged as a language equal in status to the 11 official languages in the country). And yet, the dearth of material and trained educators in SASL creates a situation where this recognition is almost meaningless unless proper training can take place and suitable material be developed.