The first Capacity Building Meeting (CBM) for the year under the theme Theories of Change was hosted at the offices of Edit Microsystems in Sea Point
On 17 March 2016 the first Capacity Building Meeting (CBM) for the year under the theme Theories of Change was hosted at the offices of Edit Microsystems in Sea Point.

Dermot Grazebrook of Blueprint 3.0 gave a brief overview of the Disability Employment Forum and the Disability Employment Summit taking place in October 2016. Riad Masoet, IPDM Board Member and Founder of Standing Tall and Purple Cow Ventures presented a summary of the Khayelitsha Disability Hubs 2016 and the role players who have been engaged going forward. The next speaker was Tessa Venter from Edit Microsystems who presented on the key focus areas of their organisation and how they are impacting the lives of persons with disabilities through the assistive technology they provide. Part of the presentation was an interactive demonstration by one of their employees, Gerhard Erasmus who is blind. Gerhard demonstrated how he accessed the internet and read and responded to documents through a device which had a Braille embossed keyboard. It was indeed fascinating to see and how effortless Gerhard used the device and how easy he communicated in a work environment.

Our second CBM was equally inspiring and was also hosted by Edit Microsystems on 23 June 2016. Julian Masimila from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) gave an overview of the SAHRC Disability Employment Toolkit. He emphasised the importance of collaboration with the disability sector, particularly those who worked towards the employment of persons with disabilities. Julian also encouraged those who were interested to attend upcoming meetings which focused on the implementation of the Toolkit.

Our main presenters were Deon De Villiers, CEO of National Institute for the Deaf (NID) in Worcester and Lientjie Van Rensburg Chief Training Officer of NID. It is apparent that NID is run by a team of highly efficient and passionate people and is the only facility in South Africa that provides services to Deaf people and persons with hearing loss of all ages or as Deon put it ‘from the cradle to the grave’. NID offers specialised care, education and training to empower and restore human dignity. What stood out in the presentation was the high employment success rates of Deaf learners from the NID College. The college offers different programmes aimed at developing skills which assist their students in their entry into the open labour market (workplace).

Training is split into two days of theory, two days of practical or experiential training in the industry and one day of training in additional subjects such as: Life Skills; Communication; Numeracy; Computer Literacy, etc. The NID College aims to provide a safe and supportive educational environment to students with hearing loss, enabling them to develop into well-adjusted individuals, able to manage themselves and to contribute in a competitive society. Some of the subjects offered are hospitality, beauty and cosmetology, upholstery, agriculture and construction to name a few. It is important to note that training programmes at NID college provide a nationally accepted qualification consisting of a prescribed number of unit standards which can be achieved through assessments. SETA qualification enables the worker to apply for any related job. The National Qualifications Framework is based on the principal of credits, and the transferability thereof. Certificates are awarded on completion of the programmes. For more information please visit their website at www.nid.org.za