BACKGROUND, HISTORY AND LOCATION
SLED was founded in 2001 in response to the needs of Deaf learners and their teachers, and SLED projects are developed in response and in partnership with the Deaf community and teachers of the Deaf. SLED plays a unique role in the Deaf education sector, and our resources and input are well known and trusted. We are committed to providing the Deaf child of South Africa with an equal and democratic right to literacy, learning and access to information through the promotion of South African Sign Language (SASL).
Based in Johannesburg and later also in Cape Town, SLED worked nationally from the outset. SLED has worked in nearly all the Deaf schools in all 9 provinces over the last 18 years. SLED created learning and teaching support materials in SASL towards Life Skills, Deaf heritage, English literacy and SASL as a school subject. All teaching resources go hand in hand with teacher training. SLED’s learning and teaching support materials for the Department of Basic Education SASL home language curriculum is used in the majority of South African Schools for Deaf learners.
SLED team members, of whom the majority are Deaf, are professionals with many years of expertise in Deaf education and culture. Skills and experience in the team include teaching at school and post school level, television presentation, production, directing and editing, creating SASL poetry and storytelling, art, educator training and SASL interpreting.
SLED addresses the human right of Deaf learners to be included in equitable education. We develop and implement training programmes for teachers of Deaf learners and unique South African Sign Language (SASL) materials, both for learners and teachers. The three main areas of work are SASL as a subject, written English for Deaf learners, and SASL as language of learning and teaching (LOLT). We focus on establishing good literacy in the Foundation Phase.
Since inception SLED has consistently influenced Deaf education towards being child centred, Deaf centred, language centred.
The SLED team has always had that special energy of people who understand what to do, are passionate about positive change and work hard and with clear direction. Every resource, every cent, every challenge, obstacle, set-back, opportunity, cross roads – direction is decided according to what would make the difference for South Africa’s Deaf children.