Available on the Potchefstroom Campus


Used by almost one million deaf and hearing South Africans, South African Sign Language (SASL) is the official language of the South African deaf community and has linguistic rules just like all other spoken languages do. This study programme is designed for people who would like to learn SASL to enhance their careers, or for personal enrichment. You learn how to communicate with deaf people through the medium of SASL. You are also exposed to the culture of the deaf community.

Why study South African Sign Language?

  • It introduces you to a new culture and community.
  • It introduces you to the issue of deaf awareness.
  • It improves your peripheral vision and reaction time.
  • It boosts your communication skills.
  • You become better at spelling.
  • You become a more diverse individual.
  • You create more career opportunities for yourself.
  • It improves your body language skills.

Course information

The academic modules include studying the principles, methods and techniques of communicating with the deaf in SASL. You learn about the linguistics of this visual-gestural language. Deafness, the history and the development of sign language in the global and South African context are covered. You learn the norms and values that form part of the deaf community. You are also exposed to the challenges the deaf face and how you can become an activist for change in the lives of deaf people. Possible career opportunities include the following:

  • Deaf education – you can become a teacher at a school for the deaf.
  • Social services and healthcare – you can help to make these services accessible to the deaf in your workplace.
  • Psychology – you can specialise as a psychologist for the deaf.
  • Interpreting – you can become an SASL interpreter (a real one, not a fake one!) in a variety of environments (courts, churches, schools, social work, etc.).

Possible career opportunities

  • Deaf education – you can become a teacher at a school for the Deaf.
  • Social services and health care – you can help to make these services accessible to the Deaf in your workplace.
  • Psychology – you can specialise as a psychologist for the Deaf.
  • Interpreting – you can become a SASL interpreter in a variety of environments (courts, churches, schools, social work, etc.

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