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STATEMENT: FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION SUPPORTS DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL SA SIGN LANGUAGE DICTIONARY

NID HANDOVERThe FW de Klerk Foundation is delighted to be able to contribute R529 650 towards the work of the National Institute for the Deaf (NID). On Friday, 12 August, the Foundation hosted a handover ceremony with former President FW de Klerk and Mr Deon de Villiers (head of the NID) at the Foundation’s offices.

This particular donation will help to fund a groundbreaking project - the development of a digital South African Sign Language (SASL) Dictionary. This Dictionary stands to benefit 234 655 SASL users (according to Stats SA 2011 Census), as well as anyone wanting to learn SASL. The Dictionary will feature all SASL variations used at schools for the Deaf across the country, along with the relevant English term. This will allow users to look up different signs, see how the sign appears in a SASL sentence with SASL grammar, and see the corresponding English word with English grammar structure.

Thanks in a large part to the fundraising efforts of former President FW and Mrs Elita de Klerk, the FW de Klerk Foundation has - for almost a decade - been able to offer support to local charities. This assistance is offered to organisations that care for children and young people with disabilities, and disadvantaged young people. The Foundation receives funds on an ad hoc basis from various (mostly international) partners, which are then distributed to these worthy organisations. In this case, the funds were raised at a Gala dinner organised by Migdal Ohr, at which former President FW de Klerk participated in a dialogue.

The FW de Klerk Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the NID, supporting other projects such as Nobel Recreation Square in Worcester. This fully-equipped outdoor recreation area will provide Deaf youth and children living on the NID campus with a space to participate in developmental recreation activities, in a safe and accessible environment. The Square includes a fitness area, a leisure area and an Amphitheatre for Deaf performing arts.

The Foundation hopes to continue to support the NID in their efforts to ensure that Deaf people are empowered to participate as fully as possible in all facets of our society and that they are able to enjoy in practice all the rights that the Constitution guarantees. 

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation 

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