Established in 1936, the KZN Society for the Blind continues to be a lifeline for many blind and partially sighted people in this province. Located in Umbilo, the Society has offered many years of sight-related services with its focus on improving rehabilitation, education and employment opportunities for the blind community they serve. Today, these services are facilitated through a variety of programmes.
To be able to read and write is one of the core skills taught. This is done through teaching braille, the system of dots that represent the letters of the alphabet, enabling blind and partially sighted people to independently express their ideas; a privilege able sighted people often overlook.
There are many other programmes that the Society offers:
- Computer Training programme assists students with learning the adapted workflow, navigating a traditional computer environment aided by touch and audio cues.
- An Early Childhood Development unit helps children from 6 months to 6 years old. Children are taught the basic understanding of shapes and textures that will aid in their later Braille learnings. It also allows children to interact with others to share and feel the pleasures of playing among each other.
- Mobility training teaches students how to use a white cane and enables those with sight limitations a way to detect objects in their path. The music programme offers a creative outlet, which forms a growing bond with the staff who join in from time to time.
- The skills development and small business unit trains basket weaving and business skills, which enables students to become financially independent. Products are sold in the KZN Society for the Blind store and distributed through interior designers, with proceeds invested back into the organisation.
Other facilities offered include an optometric clinic and on site residence for blind adults.
Learn more about the KZN Society for the Blind by visiting its website: www.kznblind.org.za