Unisa Press

‘Deaf me normal’

Deaf South Africans tell their life stories

Published: April 15, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-86888-435-3
Number of pages: 277
Prices: R 190
This book is not available in electronic format

About the book

Prior to 2007, no books had been written on the culture and history of deaf people in South Africa. This groundbreaking book within the Hidden Histories Series came about with the help of a group of courageous deaf people, who entrusted their stories to author Ruth Morgan and her team.

It provides a direct window into the experiences, perceptions and world view of the deaf narrators. ‘We never had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Deaf people. There is nothing for the Deaf community. Deaf people were affected but they were not given an opportunity.’ – Gavin Johnson.

As part of an oral history project, Deaf me normal builds a bridge between the deaf and the hearing worlds, so that hearing people can access the hidden lives of deaf South Africans. The social discrimination against deaf people during apartheid resulted in their extreme marginalisation and the silencing of their experiences. Deaf people in South Africa, have a culture with a long and rich oral folk tradition, based on the use of SASL. As in other cultures with an oral tradition, the language is used in face-to-face interactions and does not have a written form.