The School of Education hosted a Deaf Awareness Workshop to help make staff members aware about hearing impaired student teachers and the use of South African Sign Language (SASL) on campus.
The workshop, part of Deaf Awareness Month, was commissioned by the Dean and Head of the School, Professor Thabo Msibi, to assist hearing impaired people on the Edgewood campus. At the helm of the initiative was academic and lecturer with an interest in SASL matters, Dr Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst, who together with Ms Rosh Subrayen of UKZN’s Disability office, organised the workshop.
Workshop facilitators were an Educator who is deaf, Ms Monique Sutcliffe, , and the Director of Deaf SA, Ms Odette Swift.
Said Makhubu-Badenhorst: ‘The workshop was necessary and important because it was the first of its kind on the Edgewood Campus. It served as a pilot for the possible intervention by the School of Education to make an impact in staff awareness of the deaf and taking the lead in the development of the SASL curriculum in KwaZulu-Natal.’
The workshop included correct and incorrect methods of communicating with the deaf; learning to sign your name and deaf and sign culture.
Asked about future plans for deaf awareness on campus, Makhubu-Badenhorst said: ‘We plan to formulate a holistic strategy for the deaf and include it in the modules/disability programmes. There will be future collaboration for inter-disciplinary research including the training of teachers at Edgewood as well as working teachers. We also plan to develop short courses on SASL to help the deaf.’
Photographer: Melissa Mungroo