VOCTIDSA Statistics Summary
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Summary of VOCTIDSA Research

There are various organizations that provide welfare services to the Deaf. Many create the impression that they train Deaf people and help them to find work. Unfortunately this is not true, because the training is so elementary that it does not equip these people for any competitive job. Some of the organizations have occupational therapy centers where handcrafts are taught and assembly line jobs are performed. The average income Deaf people receive for these menial jobs are about R100 ($12) per month and selling of handcrafts very much depends on the goodwill and support of consumers.

The problem originates with Deaf pupils developing a communication barrier when hearing teachers try to teach them according to hearing standards.

The teacher does not know how to explain in terms which the Deaf child can understand or identify with and this creates a barrier, because the Deaf child cannot make the teacher understand his or her different perception. This leads to an inability to communicate properly with hearing people. It has only become compulsory in the last three years for teachers at a deaf school to be able to speak Sign Language.

Another great problem is that employers are reticent to employ Deaf employees, because they don't know how to communicate with them. The vicious circle, which started at school, is perpetuated in the work situation, because the Deaf aren't even given an opportunity to prove themselves, because of lack of communication.

There are 165 tertiary institutions aimed at the hearing community, surely it is essential that there be at least one tertiary institution for the Deaf.

South Africa has 21 Universities, 15 Technicons and 129 Colleges countrywide.

In the past Deaf people who wanted to study at any of these institutions depended heavily on family and good friends to help them and only very few actually succeeded in attaining any tertiary qualifications.

Although government has generously assisted a few students with interpreters, this would be impossible if the number of students rises dramatically. It would cost government in the region of R6 million per year, if for instance one hundred prospective students needed to be provided with interpreters.

"The Department of Welfare is initiating an interdepartmental consultative process for the transformation of sheltered workshops, aiming at a comprehensive model for socio-economic integration of people with disabilities. However, it is accepted that there will always be a need for a facility for people with more severe disabilities - a responsibility that needs to be shared by the Departments of Welfare and Health, as well as the NGO sector.

The Department of Labour is one of the major role-players involved in vocational rehabilitation. Persons with disabilities could be accommodated at protective workshops run by the welfare fraternity.

The Department of Welfare has spent about R3 billion on disability grants to nearly 500 000 people and a further amount of R130 million on social welfare services for the disabled. In 1997, a total of 111 homes countrywide were built for persons with disabilities, with a capacity of 6 100, as well as 179 protective workshops with a capacity of 8 415", (SA Yearbook, 1998).

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