KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society provides a range of services to blind, partially-sighted, deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind people in Durban and its surroundings, Chatsworth, Pinetown, Umlazi, Amanzimtoti and Durban South, Inanda, KwaMashu, Ntezuma, Phoenix, Verulam, Tongaat, Kwa Dekuza, Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi. The Society’s work is substantially improving the lives of our clients, contributing to their development and independence.
THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMMES ARE OFFERED:
The role of the Social workers and social auxiliary workers is to enable individuals who are Blind, Deaf or Deafblind to realise their maximum potential in terms of education, economic well-being and social needs. This is achieved through intake, assessment of needs, counselling and referrals according to identified needs; school placements, independence training, adult education and training, job placement and disability grant applications.
The Society’s Independence Skills Programme promotes the recognition that losing sight does not automatically mean losing independence or access to social or economic activities. An important aspect of the work for Blind and Partially-Sighted people is to ensure that they have a complete understanding of space and can manage it through mobility and orientation training. Independence skills training (which includes Skills of Daily Living, Orientation and Mobility and Community Based Rehabilitation) together with appropriate support, encouragement, and resources enables visually impaired persons to develop their full potential with an enriched life.
The high levels of unemployment in the sector are a particular impediment to persons with disabilities in terms of their social well-being. The Society places a strong emphasis on the placement of Blind and Deaf persons in the open labour market and to this end has developed a Job Placement Portfolio. The enabling environment created by Employment Equity legislation provides opportunities for the economic integration of disabled persons into the main stream.
Work for Deafblind, Deaf and Blind people with other disabilities is as complex and sensitive as it is vital. This specialized service aims to empower the multi-disabled sector through social work counselling, facilitating access to resources (e.g. school placements, training and assistive devices) and a support programme for parents of children who are Deafblind with or without additional disabilities. The society currently provides services to 75
deafblind individuals and their families, runs a support programme for parents of children who are multiply disabled and facilitates an early childhood stimulation unit for children with multiple disabilities.
The KZN Blind and Deaf Society (Pietermaritzburg Branch), now in its 42nd year, was established in 1969 to serve the needs of people with impaired sight or hearing in the Pietermaritzburg and Midlands Region. The facilities, occupying 2.2 hectares of land, include offices, a sheltered workshop, training rooms, hall, flatlets, cold rooms, dining hall and a hydroponics farming project.
The Centre serves the Pietermaritzburg & Midlands Region including Polela, Richmond, Underberg, Mpendhle, Mooi River, New Hanover, Greytown, Hammersdale, Camperdown, Northdale, Copesville and Raisethorpe.