Introduction / History
Although there are differences in how their language is signed between the Provinces of the Solomon Islands, there is a Deaf community in the capital city, Honiara, that represents most of the people. The Solomon Islands Sign Language (SISL) has been assigned the code szs in 2017 by the International Standards Organization.
In addition to the community in Honiara, there is also a Deaf village, Aruligo, west of the capital. Deaf people from all the islands have gathered in the capital and in the village.
Deafness is unfortunately quite common in the Solomon Islands due to poverty-related diseases such malaria, meningitis, rubella, and otitis media. Attitude towards SISL is very positive, and the community worries that AUSLAN, which is taught at school, does not reflect their cultural and language needs.
According to Angela Murray & Joneti Rokotuibau, "Before 2008 there was not really an opportunity to get an education for deaf people. The San Isidro Care Centre in Aruligo was set up for those students who missed education. They came to the centre and learned sign language for the first time and met deaf students for the first time. It gives instruction in basic skills such as building, life skills, or agriculture. The aim is after that education they could go back to their home village and work there in the skills they learned."
Scripture Prayers for the Deaf in Solomon Islands.