When I explain that SignSupport helps Deaf communicate with hearing people, many people not familiar with Deaf culture react with “Why don’t they just use text?” The answer to that question is twofold:
- Deaf people have their own culture and language. Not based on spoken languages, sign languages is a combination of hand gestures and facial expressions. If one wants to provide good service to the Deaf community, one has to adopt their language.
- Like in many other countries, in South Africa, many Deaf don’t receive proper education. As a result, many of them are bad readers or even illiterate.
Based on experiences of Deaf Capetonians, I made this storyboard to illustrate how normal day-to-day interaction with hearing society can lead to frustration and dangerous situations: