[blindza] The.Sponge Newsletter for May 2010

NEWS FROM THE.SPONGE PROJECT

MAY 2010

 

      SMS enquiries to 072-172 2623

      (With your name, town, disability and the info you need)

       

      Email:  the.sponge.project@xxxxxxxxx

       

      Website:  http://thespongeproject.yolasite.com/

       

      Facebook:  The.Sponge Project
     

 

 INTRODUCTION

* The.Sponge project is about advocating for better rehabilitation for disabled 
people. 

* We offer an SMS Information Service (072-172 2623) to enable disabled people 
to locate their nearest rehabilitation resource.

* We send this newsletter to everyone on our database of resources (currently 
over 3000 contacts) to improve their awareness of disability issues and let 
them know how they can get more information.

* We invite organisations to send us their contact details using the 
registration form on our website. 

* We have just received some welcome feedback. In February a blind lady from a 
rural area contacted for us for assistance. The SANCB have just notified that 
they were able to supply her with a Perkins Brailler and other devices, and she 
is studying at Optima College. That is feel-good stuff.

* We welcome your comments on any aspect of this project.

 

REHABILITATION IS A JIGSAW WITH NOTHING CONNECTING THE PIECES

* We have launched the concept of Total Disability Rehab © to assist 
therapists, social workers and others to share information - particularly those 
working in remote communities. 

* See www.ruralrehab.co.za for an initiative by Karen Lister.

* Our definition of Total Disability Rehab is the delivery of the services 
required to treat a disabled child at birth, or a person who becomes disabled 
through a disease or injury, thru welfare support, thru the education of the 
child, or the re-skilling of adults, thru the dignity and independence of self 
or mainstream employment, towards achieving his or her dreams.

* This process is described in the Department of Health National Rehabilitation 
Policy (the now famous green booklet 'Rehab for All'). 

* The Rehabilitation Manager in each district is responsible for getting 
representatives of various government departments around the table and 
motivating them to collaborate for the greater good of disabled people.

* There are certain key government departments who play an important role in 
rehabilitation - 

MUNICIPALITIES - Empowerment through the implementation of the Disability 
Framework. 

HEALTH - Therapy services and assistive devices for all disabled people.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - Counselling services and Early Childhood Development 
services.

SASSA - Disability and related grants thru one-stop-centres.

EDUCATION - Schools for disabled children and adults of all ages.

LABOUR - Skills development and employment services.

HOUSING - Accessible RDP houses.

TRANSPORT - Accessible public transport for all.

* Please contact us if you would like more details, or you can post a question 
on the Rehab/Disability Discussions Listserve  (see below)

 

LISTSERVES

Useful media to share info and have your say. To subscribe to -

Rehab/Disability Discussion List

Go to http://lists.hst.org.za and click on the Disability tab.

 

AACSA  - Augmentative and Alternative Communications List

Send email to AACSA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx with Subscribe in the subject line.


BlindZA - Open discussion forum for VIPs

See  http://www.freelists.org/list/blindza for more info.

Send an e-mail to blindza-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with Subscribe in the subject 
line.

Or go to http://www.blindza.co.za and follow instructions

 

NAP Lists - General, Blind, Deaf, Educate and Physical

First  go to www.napsa.org.za and read the Project Overview and Progress.

Then click on Mailing list and follow the instructions. 

Or go direct to : http://lists.napsa.org.za/mailman/listinfo/  and click on the 
list you wish to join. 

 

ADMIN NOTES

Analysis of our last 100 SMS calls by province, type of disability and type of 
info requested -

 

      PROVINCE
      
     DISABILITY
      
     INFO
      
     
      EC
     29
     BLIND
     19
     ASST DEVICE
     15
     
      FS
     4
     DEAF
     10
     THERAPY
     50
     
      GAU
     24
     MENTAL
     11
     DIS GRANT
     7
     
      KZN
     11
     PHYSICAL
     60
     CARE
     3
     
      LIM
     3
     TOTAL
     100
     HOUSING
     1
     
      MPU
     2
      
      
     EDUCATION
     12
     
      NC
     2
      
      
     JOB
     12
     
      NW
     6
      
      
     TOTAL
     100
     
      WC
     19
      
      
      
      
     
      TOTAL
     100
      
      
      
      
     

 

Websites

* We appreciate websites that are easy to navigate and tell us when they were 
last updated, so we don't waste time using info that is out of date.  Dates can 
be misleading unless they include the year. 

* Please check that your website is compliant with the minimum standards for 
accessibility to all disabilities.

 

Emails

* We depend on email for communication and to distribute our newsletter.  
Unfortunately there are a lot of rural clinics and poor schools and care 
centres that do not have PCs or access to Internet/email.

* We hope that increased awareness of cell phone technology will bring them 
into the net.

* We receive many email replies each day but sometimes it is difficult to find 
our original email. 

* It is a big help when you keep our email under your reply. 

* If you are not sure how to do that, from the DRAFT folder, go to 
TOOLS/OPTIONS/SEND then tick 'Include message in reply'

 

The.Sponge Budget for the past 12 months

 

      Resource
     R
     Hours spent
     
      Disability Research Assistant - salary
     24000
     4 hours/day, 50 x 5 day weeks = 1000

       
     
      Project management.

      Including salary, rent, office expenses.
     60000
     10 hours/day, 50 x 6 day weeks =  3000

       
     
      TOTAL
     84000
     4000 manhours
     

 

 HOW YOU CAN HELP US

We still need more publicity for the SMS Info Service (072-172 2623), so ask 
you to please make copies of the sample notice the end of this newsletter and 
to display them in your offices and anywhere in the community where they may be 
seen by disabled people or their families. 

We would like to see the notices on the community notice boards in Shops and in 
Hospitals and Clinics, Welfare offices, SASSA pay points, Churches, Post 
Offices, Police Stations, Libraries, Schools, and Ward Councillor and other 
Municipal offices.

You are welcome to add translations in local languages so that the service is 
accessible to as many disabled people as possible. 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The.Sponge Project is a privately funded initiative and offers a free community 
service to cell phone users in any part of South Africa. 

It is supported technically by AXXESS DSL of Port Elizabeth.

We thank those organisations who have mentioned our project in their 
newsletters and websites.

 

Disclaimer - the opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of The.Sponge 
project team and do not necessarily represent those of government departments 
or the disability sector.

^*^*^*^*^

PS: We apologise if you have received this newsletter more than once as it is 
distributed by email to thousands of individuals and organisations using 
various lists.

If you do not wish to receive future issues, please reply to this email with 
UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

 

Regards

Tony and Tim Webb, 
The.Sponge Project Team, Port Elizabeth.

 

       

      SMS INFORMATION SERVICE FOR

      DISABLED PEOPLE IN SOUTH AFRICA

       

      Do you need rehabilitation or other disability services?

      To find out what is available in your area,

      SMS your name, town, disability and the info you need to

      072-172 2623

      (You can use your free SMS's)

       
     

 

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