Sign Language Webinar To Uplift The Deaf Community

Varsity-genie Will Be Hosting Its First Sign-Language Webinar To Uplift The Deaf Community Through Technology-Based Skills…

Sign Language Webinar To Uplift The Deaf Community

on 14 October via Microsoft Teams.

The student leadership platform was established by the 26-year-old Durban University of Technology (DUT) information and communication technology (ICT) masters student Fanie Ndlovu, who is passionate about developing the skills of young people in deaf community and townships.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are 466 million people across the world that live with disabling hearing loss, which equates to more than 5% of the world’s population. WHO also estimated that by 2050, more than 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.

Majority of these individuals live in low- to middle-income countrie s where they do not have access to the appropriate hearing care services.

The WHO further stated on its website that in developing countries, children with hearing loss and deafness rarely receive any schooling and adults with hearing loss have a higher unemployment rate. A high percentage of those employed, fall under the lower grades of employment.


“The aim of our webinar is to start conversations that will open up opportunities for deaf people to participate in the economy instead of being excluded and only reliant on social grants,” said Ndlovu.


Two student speakers will relay their first-hand experience of living with a hearing disability, as well as the opportunities AI can deliver to the deaf community.

Nobuhle Maseko

The webinar will be led by Nobuhle Maseko, a member of Femicious Deaf Girls and final-year industrial psychology student at the University of the Free State (UFS). Maseko is passionate about conquering her dreams despite her hearing disability and wants to encourage others to do so as well.

She will be explaining the daily challenges she faces living with a hearing disability and get into how artificial intelligence can help other hearing-disabled individuals.

“I will be showing examples of artificial intelligence solutions for deaf people. The main aim of using artificial intelligence is to break down the communication barrier that deaf people face by using technology to make our lives easier,” said Maseko.

Rethabile Mphooso

DUT ICT student Rethabile Mphooso will be talking about the possibility of chatbot AI which can potentially be used to create apps that make conversations between deaf people and those who can hear.

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