In Focus

Deaf community hails new children’s book

The story of friendship brings inclusion and diversity into children’s literature, while highlighting the fight to officially recognise sign language in South Africa. Mpumi and Jabu’s Magical Day is a recently released children’s book by Lebohang Masango, a social anthropologist and the author of Mpumi’s Magic Beads,and Claudine Storbeck, the director and associate professor of the Centre …

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National Down Syndrome Day is on 20 October: Employing persons with intellectual disabilities

About Down Syndrome Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder arising at the time of conception. This is caused by an excess in genetic material when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21, commonly refered to as Trisomy 21, which causes delays in physical and intellectual development. The exact cause of Down syndrome is …

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Lego launches new bricks to help blind children learn braille

The LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group roll out the first wave of the program in partnership with local sight loss organizations to help children with vision impairment learn critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration through play. LEGO® Braille Bricks will be launched in twenty countries over the next six months following successful pilot program …

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Nathaniel Julies’ murder shows need for mental health training for police officers

The senseless murder of Eldorado Park teenager Nathaniel Julies calls for a wider conversation around managing people with intellectual disabilities or mental health disorders. According to the South African Federation for Mental Health, the shooting highlights the need for police officers to be trained on mental health conditions. Irresponsible policing Julies, who was born with …

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Netflix’s ‘Rising Phoenix’, a story where disability is not an inability

Changing the way the world thinks about disability: In a story of hope and triumph, Paralympians from around the world show that disability is not an inability. “Rising Phoenix” a Netflix documentary tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games. From the rubble of World War II to the third biggest sporting event on the …

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“Are You Blind?” navigating a socially distanced World with a visual impairment

“Only one of you can enter the store,” said the grocery store employee. I clenched my husband’s hand, heart racing and quickly muttered, “He’s my guide.” We were standing at the front of a two-block line waiting to enter the store. The employee raised his eyebrow and jokingly said, “Well you can’t hold hands,” to which …

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Deaf people lose houses to land occupation

Khayelitsha occupation divides community leadership About 30 plots in Kuyasa reserved for deaf residents have been occupied. The plots had stood vacant because of long delays in getting housing subsidies. Community leaders promoting the occupation are accused of greed and selfishness. The illegal occupation of nearly 90 plots belonging to people waiting for housing subsidy …

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5 things everyone should know about people with disabilities

What do you really need to know about disability? If you’re not disabled yourself, and don’t have a child, spouse, brother or sister, or parent with disabilities, how knowledgeable and up to date on disability issues are you expected to be? Here are five things every person should probably understand today about disabled people and …

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Civil society sheds light on issues that visually impaired women face

Blind and visually impaired women face many issues on a daily basis. To commemorate Women’s Month, Blind SA held an urgent discussion with civil society groups to shed light on issues that visually impaired women face. This was part of a larger discussion held on 5 August which also addressed the education crisis for blind …

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