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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities

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Western Cape APD is a group of people, both volunteers and staff, who work together with persons with disabilities towards becoming as independent as possible and integrate into society on an equal basis with others. Social services look at all areas of the person’s life, while drawing on related services for child care, education, employment, skills development, occupational therapy, assistive devices, awareness raising, accessibility and training. Our services are free of charge and open to anyone who needs help.
We are one of 9 Provincial Associations situated throughout South Africa affiliated to the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), which in turn is affiliated to the South African Disability Alliance (SADA) and Rehabilitation International (RI).
We are passionate about creating a better community, lifestyle and workplace for persons with disabilities! This was true of the small group of people who began our organisation in 1937 and it remains true for the many people who join us in our work today.
We work with persons with disabilities to achieve their potential, dreams and goals. This may include (but is not limited to) sourcing mobility devices, dealing with social issues within the home, arranging for home care, caring for children with severe disabilities or lobbying for accessibility in the community.
Anyone who suddenly finds themselves faced with disability and nowhere to turn for advice or help is welcome to call on us!
Disability can happen to anyone at any time, usually when least expected. In our experience, most people are overwhelmed by the new situation in which they find themselves, and have no idea where to find help or advice. They are completely unprepared for the direction their life has taken.
This is where we come in.
We begin a journey with the person, helping them to plan their future and supporting them in developing their ability to become independent. The person is always central to their own development, making changes to their own life in order to achieve their goals and dreams.
Disability affects different people in many different ways, depending on the cause of their impairment, their personality, home life, finances, age, gender, social environment, and many others. Each individual is different, and so our support to each person is tailor-made to their unique needs.
Our aim is for each individual to enjoy a productive, fulfilling and quality life, without the need for support from us. If we can achieve this, we have accomplished our mission!
Anyone who has children will know that the arrival of a new life is a miracle and a wonderful experience for the family. However, when parents discover that their new baby has a disability, they experience a wide range of emotions, including sorrow, fear of the unknown, guilt and even sometimes rejection of the infant.
At these times it is crucial that the family unit receives understanding and support from their loved ones, but with all their good intentions, those loved ones do not always have the necessary knowledge of how to care for a child with a disability.
APD is that safety net, providing support and training to parents on how to best care for their child, ensuring that their child enrolls in the neighborhood early childhood development centre, and going on to facilitate inclusion in the education system when the child reaches school-going age. Parents form a support group for each other, helping with coping with the isolation and stigmatization that unfortunately goes hand in hand with disability.
It is not possible for all children to follow the same path, as their impairments and circumstances differ. Early stimulation and development activities and the opportunity to play with and form friendships with peers are vital for ALL children in order for them to flourish and grow. Children with severe disabilities are able to attend our special care centres where our trained and committed carers will ensure that they receive constant stimulation and development so that they can become the best they can be.
The ability to work, earn an income and create a support one’s family is something many of us take for granted. Work is the means by which an individual can escape poverty and secure the necessities of life. It also plays an important role in promoting a positive and confident self-esteem in people. Unfortunately, many persons with disabilities do not have permanent employment, and are therefore unable to provide for their families.
We will support you on your journey towards employment, including looking into the various employment options available, developing your skills where necessary, discussing job opportunities with employers and providing support to you as you begin your new work.
Our protective workshops and activity groups allow anyone who is unable to work independently to remain active and learn new skills.

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