The Pan South African Sign Language Board (PanSALB) launched the South African Sign Language (SASL) Charter which was conceptualized to address issues pertaining to communication, access to information, facilities and social justice among others. The charter is said to grant access to services by Deaf persons in ensuring essential services staff such as police officers receive advanced level training in SASL.
Chairperson of the PanSALB, Dr. David Maahlamela, said the charter is “a product of years of extensive consultation with the Deaf community that has culminated to this call to action for our government and civil society to rally together and pledge their commitment to the principles of multilingualism and social cohesion that underpin the provisions of the charter”.
September is Deaf Awareness Month and the SASL charter will start various activities by PanSALB in various parts of the county to raise awareness about the SASL. The South African Sign Language is a language with its unique grammatical structures and lexicon. Dr Maahlemela added that the launch of the charter is a giant stride towards ensuring the officialization of the SASL as the 12th official language of South Africa.