Who should Learn Sign Language
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Sign Language:
Who Should Know And Use Sign Language?

1. In the past, Sign Language was not accepted in schools for the Deaf, society in general as well as within the immediate family. This meant that Deaf children did not see anybody use Sign Language until they went to school, if at all.

2. Now that SASL has been included in the new South African Constitution and accepted as the official language of instruction in the education of Deaf learners, early identification and intervention of deaf children are very important.

When a Deaf child is identified (as early as possible) the following people should learn and use SASL when communicating with the child:
- Parents - to facilitate bonding between the Deaf child and its parents.
- Siblings - to provide a signing environment for the Deaf sibling.
- Relatives - to give a Deaf child a sense of belonging to the extended family as well.

3. SASL should be learnt in Deaf community centers or Deaf clubs to enable people to acquire it naturally.

4. Deaf adults themselves should teach SASL.

5. Deaf adults also function in Deaf community centers and clubs as role models not only for Deaf children but also for parents and other family members as well.

6. Crèches and daycare centers should have Deaf adults as caretakers to ensure SASL acquisition and development.

7. Teachers of the Deaf teaching in schools for the Deaf should be competent and fluent users of SASL as a medium of instruction and should also teach SASL as a school subject.

8. Other service providers such as social workers, counselors, psychologists, nurses and the police should also learn SASL in order to communicate with the client directly.

9. In other communicative situations, e.g. in a doctor's consultation room, police stations, court rooms, tertiary learning institutions etc., the services of SASL interpreters should be sought and provided.

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