Since 2012, the QuadPara Association of the Western Cape (QAWC) has been running the QASA Digital Village, which offers free computer training to quadriplegics and paraplegics in Cape Town and surrounding areas. More than 500 members, from regions including Somerset West, Paarl, Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, have joined the programme.
Members have the opportunity to learn and develop their computer skills using Microsoft Office, email and browsing. They also have the opportunity to write their CVs, learn interview etiquette and other essential workplace skills. With these skills, members can move into learnerships and approach employment agencies.
For those who have used a computer before, the Digital Village provides an opportunity to explore reasonable accommodation. QAWC trainers assist participants in navigating their own experience and skills, as well as developing an understanding of their individual reasonable accommodation in the workplace.
Digital Village trainer Anda Mthulu comments: “My favourite part of the training is seeing our learners empowered. Members often walk in with little motivation and, after seeing what they can achieve, walk away with a whole new outlook on their potential.”
The Durbanville-based QAWC Digital Village also recently received funding from QASA to update its assistive devices. Four new trackballs and a new adapted keyboard have been introduced at the training centre. The programme is now even better equipped to assist wheelchair users.
QAWC says that these items have already made a difference to one of their members currently completing the Digital Village training course. QASA commends QAWC for this initiative and is looking forward to seeing more members benefit from the computer training.