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Our 12th Official Language

The South African National Assembly’s approval of the Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill marks a significant milestone in recognising South African Sign Language (SASL) as an official language. This recognition not only provides constitutional protection to SASL but also ensures the linguistic rights of the Deaf community. As the 12th official language of South Africa, SASL now has equal status and respect, emphasising the need for active strides in creating inclusive spaces that acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of the country’s citizens.

The Tumultuous Path

For the past 25 years, the deaf community in South Africa has tirelessly advocated for the recognition of sign language as an official language. This process began as early as 1996, followed by unsuccessful requests to make SASL an official language in 2007, 2013, and 2015. In 2020, the announcement was made that the official recognition was finally underway. After public comment in May 2022 and public hearings in March 2023, the request was officially processed and passed in May 2023.

An official language holds legal recognition within a state. It serves as the medium for administrative purposes, facilitating day-to-day state affairs. This change to the Constitution will ensure that SASL is given the rightful status it deserves.

The new legislation aims to accomplish the following:

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Foster the cultural acceptance of South African Sign Language (SASL).

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Ensure that the rights of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing are fully realised, guaranteeing equal protection under the law and upholding their human dignity.

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Promote inclusive and substantive equality while actively preventing and eliminating any form of unfair discrimination based on disability.

This milestone represents the first of many crucial steps towards fostering inclusivity and embracing diversity, and will undoubtedly impact numerous organisations as they adapt their inclusion strategies to better cater to the specific needs of those with disabilities.

Big Strides Towards Accessibility

Incredible initiatives are already positively impacting the lives of individuals with impairments, offering them the necessary support to carry out daily activities. The South African government has several regulations focusing on enhancing accessibility in public spaces for people with disabilities. New initiatives and government regulations strive to ensure that buildings, accommodations, and transportation are accessible to all.

Signarama Supports Business Inclusivity

Signage is crucial for effective communication. It can be vital in conveying necessary information about wayfinding, emergency precautions, and more. At Signarama, we possess the expertise to design and install accurate braille signage, ensuring inclusivity in your environment. The braille used for our tactile designs adheres to the Unified English Braille Code, widely used in South Africa. To optimise installation efficiency, our experienced team can also assist you in selecting the optimal placement for braille signage. We consider factors such as height and location, making it easy for visually impaired individuals to locate the signs within your premises.
As the leading signage provider in Southern Africa, we take pride in staying ahead of signage initiatives. Our primary objective is to assist businesses in creating signage that fulfils all their requirements. As sign language gains recognition, the time to embrace inclusivity can no longer be ignored. Contact your nearest Signarama store to begin the process of creating braille signage that promotes inclusiveness for your business.
SIGNARAMA SOUTHERN AFRICA

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Johannesburg, South Africa 2062
012 285 0412

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