Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is comprised of a group of people, both volunteers and staff, passionate about creating a better community, lifestyle and workplace for persons with disabilities. This was true of the small group of people who began the organisation in 1937 and it remains true for the many people who join APD in its work today. The organisation works alongside the individual with a disability towards their own independence and integration into society on an equal basis with others.
There are a total of 25 APD branches across the Western Cape working with persons with disabilities to realise 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 and occupational therapy, helping with skills development, caring for children with severe disabilities or lobbying for awareness and accessibility in the community.
- Special care centres ensure that children with severe disabilities receive constant stimulation and development;
- Protective workshops teach new skills to those who are unable to return to their previous employment;
- Parent supporters facilitate a network of parents who support each other through the process of raising a child with a disability;
- ‘Hambisela’ trains parents of children with cerebral palsy on how to take care of their child;
- Youth Empowerment Support (YES) trains persons with disabilities as Peer Supporters on various aspects of disability, prevention and health promotion, who then lend support to those with a similar disability in their communities;
- Family Preservation Project works towards preserving the family unit post-disability;
- ‘Awareness’ aims to change perceptions and stereotypes of persons with disabilities;
- Puppet Project uses puppets with disabilities to teach young children that all people are the same inside, no matter how they look;
- Nappy Run raises awareness around the need for nappies for children with disabilities, and fundraises to provide these to parents;
- ‘Buckle Up’ Road Safety Campaign deploys wheelchair users at strategic garages throughout the province during high traffic periods, who ask motorists to pledge to buckle up their seatbelt and receive a free licence disc in return. In this way APD hopes to reduce the risk of spinal cord injury in the event of an accident;
- ‘Accessibility’ works towards an inclusive environment, communication systems and education for all people, whether they have a disability or not. This includes facilitating motor vehicle rebate applications, beach access permits and parking discs for persons with disabilities.
APD’s services are free of charge and open to anyone who needs help. The organisation has a client base of approximately 10 000 people at any given time.
APD fundraises extensively and arranges two major campaigns across the Western Cape: a car competition and Lollipop Day. The organisation is also a beneficiary of Casual Day.
The challenges are great, including minimal funding, scarce resources and limited staff, not to mention persons with disabilities who have not yet been reached. APD is, however, motivated about taking up these challenges and continuing into the next 76 years with confidence.
To view the Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.