The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) General Comment on Equality and Non-discrimination (par. 65) states, “To ensure equality and non-discrimination for deaf children in educational settings, they must be provided with sign language learning environments with deaf peers and deaf adult role models.”
Despite important steps forward, at present the majority of Deaf school leavers still find themselves without functional literacy for managing personal business and workplace demands.
SLED has worked in the field of Deaf literacy since 2001. Work includes teacher training, and the development of comprehensive learning and teaching materials for English literacy and the South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum. The roll out of the national DBE Home Language SASL curriculum since 2015 has created the opportunity for learners to achieve first language literacy within the curriculum. Based on their first language literacy, they could progress successfully with the appropriate teaching methodology and learning resources, to learning their first written language. In order for this opportunity to turn into reality, there is a need for sustained skilled, experienced, responsive, reflective and engaged intervention. SLED has the skills, experience, networks, human resources and long term commitment to Deaf education to establish a successful Deaf Foundation Phase language acquisition and literacy model in partnership with schools and funders.