The Soweto Uprisings of 1976 saw thousands of black children protesting against the Afrikaans Medium Decree, which forced children who did not speak Afrikaans to be taught in Afrikaans. Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, deprived black children opportunities to achieve academically and pursue higher learning and subsequently diverse economic opportunities during apartheid.
The children of 1976 understood the value of learning in their own language, and we urge you to see this value, too.
South Africa’s Deaf children face similar barriers to accessing education in their own language. Over 90% of their families cannot sign , so school becomes the place where Deaf children learn a language for the first time. However, many teachers still cannot use South African Sign Language as a medium of instruction.These teachers run the risk of misinterpreting children’s questions in all subjects, severely limiting the educational progression of these learners and access to better socio-economic opportunities in life. Moreover, most Deaf teachers who are fluent signers do not have access to the qualifications required to teach Deaf children about this unique language: South African Sign Language.
SLED seeks to change this, by creating resources that are made by Deaf people for Deaf people, and training teachers to use these materials effectively. SLED gives the Deaf child a future full of possibility.
However, SLED needs financial assistance to make significant changes so that Deaf children can have an equal access to education.