Expanding inclusivity: Why making SASL an official language matters

| Refilwe Moloto spoke to Justice Ministry spokesperson Chrispin Phiri about amending the Constitution to include South African Sign Language as the 12th official language of South Africa.

South Africans have about 30 days to comment on a proposed amendment of the Constitution - which will make South African Sign Language (SASL) the 12th official language in South Africa.

Making SASL an official language would mean more than just having sign language interpreters in boxes at the corners of our tv screens.

It would open the space for SASL to be taught in more schools, require the workplace to have structures in place to accommodate the deaf community and see the language used more regularly in mainstream environments and events.

As one of the most marginalised communities in the country, the amendment will "expand the boundaries of inclusivity" for people with hearing disabilities, something integral to our Constitution.

In ensuring that this is the 12th official language in South Africa really makes a more inclusive society... It also speaks to the spirit of the Constitution itself which is always expanding the boundaries of inclusivity.

Chrispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Justice Ministry

Find out more about how you can participate in the public comment here.

You can also email the Justice department directly at RegoBaloyi@justice.gov.za.

Listen to the full interview above.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Expanding inclusivity: Why making SASL an official language matters

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