KSL is the language of the Kenyan deaf community and is used throughout the country. In 2010, KSL was recognized in the new constitution of Kenya as an official language of the Kenyan Parliament.

This language is believed to have originated in the first deaf schools, in the early 1960s in western Kenya (Okombo & Akach 1997). Therefore, KSL is probably around 40-50 years old.

In Kenya today, there are over 45 primary schools for the deaf, four secondary schools, and approximately 35 units (deaf classes in hearing schools).

Kenyan Sign Language (KSL)

Akach, Philemon A.O., ed. (1991). Kenyan Sign Language dictionary. Nairobi: Kenya National Association of the Deaf.

Gilchrist, Shane Kieran & Evans Namasaka Burichani (2009). Standardisation in Kenyan Sign Language led by deaf teachers. Conference talk at the World Congress of African Linguistics 6. Cologne, Germany.

Hochgesang, Julie (2007). Exploring the language contact situation between deaf and hearing in Kenya. Poster presented at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 9 Meeting. Florianoipolis, Brazil.

Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). Ethnologue. Dallas, Texas: SIL International.

Mjitoleaji Productions (2004). Kenyan Sign Language interactive CD-ROM dictionary. Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya Sign Language Research Project & U.S. Peace Corps.

Morgan, Hope E. & Rachel Mayberry (2009). The role of the non-dominant hand in Kenyan Sign Language. Conference talk at the World Congress of African Linguistics 6. Cologne, Germany.

Morgan, Hope E. and Rachel Mayberry (2010). The handshape parameter in Kenyan Sign Language. Conference talk at the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 10. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Morgan, Hope E. and Rachel Mayberry (in press). Complexity in two-handed signs: evidence for sub-lexical structure in a young sign language. Sign Language and Linguistics 15 (2).

Mweri, Jefwa G. (2009) Structural borrowing: The case of Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) and Kiswahili contact signing. In Iraki, Fredrick Kang’ethe (ed.) Journal of Language, Technology, & Entrepreneurship in Africa 1 (2): 160-174.

Okombo, D. Okoth & Philemon O. Akach (1997). Language convergence and wave phenomena in the growth of a national sign language in Kenya. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 125: 131-144.

Roberts, Page (2009). Is ASL a colonial language in Kenya?: a lexical comparison of ASL and KSL. Unpublished manuscript, Gallaudet University.

U.S. Peace Corps, Kenya (2004). Kenyan Sign Language: a competency-based manual. Nairobi: U.S. Peace Corps.

Warnke, Kevin, Okoth D. Okombo, T. Oguto Adera, & Washington Akaranga (2007). Learn KSL: an interactive guide to Kenyan Sign Language. Nairobi, Kenya: Deaf Aid.

References: Kenyan Sign Language

Adoyo, Peter Oracha (2006). A report on the Nyaweri HIV/AIDS awareness project of the deaf in Kenya. In: Deaf Worlds (HIV/AIDS and Deaf Community) 22 (1).

National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development and Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2008). Kenya National Survey for Persons with Disabilities. Republic of Kenya.

Okombo, D. Okoth, Jefwa G. Mweri, & Washington Akaranga (2009). Sign language interpreter training in Kenya: a general overview. In Napier, Jemina (ed.) International Perspectives on Sign Language Interpreter Education. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Shackleton, Joanna (2009). Exploring Perceptions of Deaf Persons for Recommendations Towards Effective HIV/AIDS Programming in Nairobi. Handicap International, Kenya-Somalia; University of Ottawa, Canada.

Standard Media (2010). The Proposed Constitution of Kenya. www.standardmedia.co.ke/downloads/draft.constitution.pdf (PDF, ~1MB download)

U.S. Peace Corps, Kenya (2007). Building a brighter future: Peace Corps deaf school survey. Nairobi: U.S. Peace Corps.

References: Kenyan Deaf Community

President and Secretary of the South Nyanza Deaf Association (SNAD). SNAD office, Rongo, Kenya; July 2011.

Students at Kuja Secondary School for the Deaf