2.2 million (2017 estimate)
990 deaf & 6,480 hearing impaired
Number of Sign Language Users
Nation's Official Language
The number of established languages listed for Botswana is 32. Some of these are:
Name of Sign Language
Botswana Sign Language
Overview Of Deaf Community And Education
The first deaf unit was founded in 1979. This became later the residential Ramotswa Centre for the Deaf in 1985 (located about 35km southwest of the capital Gaborone); it provides education from 3-18 years. A second school was founded at Francistown in 1991. There are deaf units at Tashata Junior Secondary School and Maun Senior Secondary School. Botswana SL is used in education but the reports are different as to the extent.
In 2003, three deaf students were admitted to Maun Senior Secondary School. There were the first deaf students to reach senior school (Mmegi Newspapers, Wednesday 3 March 2003).
Sign Language Overview
Very little information is available for Botswana Sign Language. The country does not have a sign language dictionary. There is no research has yet been done on the sign language.
Deaf Organizations In Country
Botswana National Association of the Deaf (BAOD)
Botswana Society of the Deaf
There is a National Association of Interpreters and the BSD offers some interpreter training, but the level of this is not clear.
Overview of Interpreting Services
There is a record that a sign language interpreter from Botswana took part in the WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreter) 2011 Conference, which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2011
Kerileng D. Mpuang, Sourav Mukhopadhyay & Nelly Malatsi (2014) Sign Language as Medium of Instruction in Botswana Primary Schools: Voices from the Field. pp 132-143.
World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. (2008) Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Southern and Eastern Africa (WFD RSESA)
List of Contributors
Michiko Kaneko (University of Witwatersrand, SA)