SIGNING SAFE FUTURES SOUTH AFRICA
How We Help
Childline South is currently working with Deafkidz International to implement the Signing Safe Futures South Project for D/deaf children and Young people in an effort to empower them to live confidently, mitigate and disclose abuse when it occurs and to enhance their access to social support services through life skills programmes. It is a pilot project in KZN with an aim of rolling it out to the rest of South Africa and beyond in future.
Training on Deaf Awareness and Sensitisation
Most hearing professionals who don’t have sign language skills find it difficult to provide support to D/deaf children and D/deaf people due to language barriers. As part of the Signing Safer Futures South Project, Childline South Africa is working in partnership with Deaf Agencies to provide Deaf Awareness workshops to various support services professionals that include the Police, Social Services, the Judiciary and Health professionals. The one-day workshop mainly covers aspects on understanding Deaf culture and Deaf communities. The aim of the training is to enhance the capacity of support services professionals to be able to respond and provide support services to Deaf communities, particularly children and young people and to ultimately set up and establish the ‘Link Officers/Officials for the Deaf’ services to improve relations and communication between the Deaf, deafened, deafblind, Hard of Hearing people in the communities.
Video Relay Services- Online Counselling
Childline SA is setting up the Video Relay Service, or VRS, which is a simple but innovative technology system that allows Deaf Children and Young People who are sign language users to make telephone calls to Childline South Africa, through a laptop webcam, through the provision of a Sign Language Interpreter (SLI).
How a Deaf CYP communicates with CLSA through a phone call:
- Press the dial button on the laptop pre-loaded with specialist software, with a webcam and Ethernet port, and the call will be routed straight through to CLSA via a SLI hub, and the SLI will automatically appear on the Deaf child’s screen.
- The Deaf child will see the SLI to whom they sign the message they want to convey. The SLI will see the Deaf child signing on their screen, and will convey their words to the CLSA counsellor.
- The counsellor replies, the SLI will hear, and will translate that into sign language for the Deaf child to see on their screen.