The Deputy Judge President has set down our case for hearing on 9 November 2023 in the Pretoria High Court. I would like to share the statistics on hearing loss in South Africa (see image above). The estimated number of persons who have a disabling hearing impairment or deafness not using SASL-South African Sign Language (4-5 million) and Deaf people who use SASL (600 000–800 000) Source: World Report on Hearing, WHO.
Here is some background on the inclusion and empowerment of persons with hearing loss over the past 29 years in South Africa…
Persons who are hearing impaired or deaf still have no political power or support like the Deaf community in South Africa, which is one of the main reasons why we have made no progress since 9 December 2015, with, for example, “real-time” captions during news bulletins. For various reasons, the vast majority of people with hearing loss do not have equal access to information and communication on various levels in South Africa.
At the same time, the authorities spare no expense to fund and support, for example, “real-time” Sign language interpreting in news bulletins which can be seen as their perspective on how to address the inequalities of the past.
It is also heartbreaking that we did not receive the necessary support from the sector of and for persons with disabilities who would rather condone the myths regarding the real prevalence of hearing loss in SA. Please take a look at the statistics regarding Sign Language users in other parts of the world compared with statistics in South Africa; this should be an eye-opener for many.
This background emphasizes the importance of our case on 9 November .
I hope that the statistics and background help us to better understand how people who have a hearing impairment or post-lingual deafness have been marginalized over the past nine years, especially since the South African White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was approved by the South African Cabinet on 9 December 2015.
Fanie du Toit Hearing disability: bi-lateral cochlear implantee Adult Basic Education Practitioner (Unisa 1994) Senior Specialist: Hearing impairment and deaf Affairs
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 820 7358 (sms only) Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@faniedreams Facebook: fanie.dutoit.167, yourroadtoindependence, and Fanie.DreamsAvailable on Google Meet Website: www.ncpd.org.za and www.roadtoindependence