History of KSL (Kenya Sign Language)

Some areas of Kenya use more ASL than KSL.  I have heard that some schools use more BSL (British) than KSL.

There is a group of people who are working very hard to encourage the usage of KSL in Kenya.  Kenyans who are deaf should have a language that they can call their own.  The story is that KSL is still a young language dating back to the 1960s.

I get the feeling that they’re trying to standardize KSL across Kenya and make it more of a uniform language.  My understanding is that as of last year they give deaf children the opportunity to take KSL exams instead of Kiswahili.

Let me quickly explain that every year standard 8 take national exams in different subjects before they can move to secondary school.  Deaf children in Kenya do not learn Kiswahili nor do they learn their village language (unless they have access to learning those languages outside of their school).  Instead they learn KSL and English.

The KSL exam is written which I find interesting because ASL is NOT a written language.   I’m looking forward to learning how to write KSL.

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