The majority of people needing the Society’s services cannot easily reach delivery points in urban and semi-urban areas. Our outreach programmes enables the Society to take services closer to clients in communities that need them most, to the benefit of many clients who would otherwise have no access to them.
The Kha-Ri-Gude Braille Literacy Programme, organized by the National Department of Basic Education and coordinated and supervised by KZNBDS Academy of Learning, has already enabled many Visually-Impaired clients in KZN to become Braille literate with 101 facilitators delivering the basic training to 478 learners throughout our Province.
The KwaZulu-Natal Province has 110,939 registered Blind and Partially-Sighted inhabitants, widely distributed but with almost a third (31%) in the largely rural Zululand, Umkhanyakude and Uthungulu Districts where very few if any formal services are specifically aimed at such people.
The KZN Blind and Deaf Society is the only organization in the Province providing services to Visually-Impaired people in these three districts and lacks the resources to reach more than a minority of them.
In August 2005, our Society took a decision to migrate Independence Skills Training to where it was needed through its Community Based Rehabilitation Programme. This became possible with partial funding and has been continuing with notable success.
The Society plays a pivotal role in promoting the rights of Blind and Deaf citizens. Government Departments, corporations and enterprises denying access to services or infringing the rights of people with disabilities are challenged by the Society through laws protecting such rights. Society staff are constantly creating awareness by visiting different communities and pressing for access and services for its blind and deaf clients through its many sensitization programmes. Employment of people with disabilities, their safety on public transport and roads, equality in educational opportunities, access to essential services such as police stations, clinics and courts like their sighted and hearing counterparts, amongst other areas, form a large part of Society's outreach advocacy efforts.
Established in 1975, this Association is a self-help group with a membership of 250 people impaired in sight, hearing or both. The Association enables such people to get together, socialize as well as empower and develop themselves and each other through social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities.
Our clients like others in society must take part in sport. We employ two sports co-ordinators to do this work – one each to help people with sight-related and hearing-related disabilities respectively.
We practice Blind cricket and goal ball for Blind people, as well as soccer, netball, volleyball and badminton for people who are Deaf.