A Case for Sustainable Development: Deaf Awareness

September is International Month for the Deaf and to raise awareness around the challenges and solutions for the deaf, we did a case study with Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands whose workforce comprises of 30% hearing impaired personnel.

Based on an estimate from the World Federation of the Deaf (www.wfd.org)), about 70 million Deaf people are living In Africa and approximately about 80% of the South African population do not know sign language. This makes it paramount to have organisations such as DEAF SA to assist with educating and destigmatising any society’s perceived limitations for the deaf. That is exactly how the partnership between Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands and Deaf SA came about

According to Deaf SA Western Cape, the strategy with the partnership is not only to uplift and empower the deaf but to get more organisations in various sectors and industries to employ the hearing-impaired.

This is a remarkably empowering initiative and if different companies across the continent could follow the same pattern there would be no stigma associated with the deaf, subsequently this would also motivate the rest of the staff to learn sign language to be able to communicate effectively within the company.

As we continue to raise awareness, we are also particularly proud of the effort that both Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands and Deaf SA have undertaken, and we are eager to see more possible partnerships and collaborations from other organisations soon.

As we approach the end of the International Month for the Deaf, take it upon yourself to learn sign language, read about it and continue to raise awareness from wherever you are

Should you wish to collaborate with DEAF SA or perhaps wish to learn more about their services, feel free to contact them on the details listed on their website (www.deafsa.co.za)

Services of DEAF SA include:

  • Deaf awareness and outreach programmes.
  • Early Intervention Programme:  Psycho-social support services to Deaf individual and their family including group therapy and life skills workshops.
  • Facilitate job placement programmes for Deaf individuals.
  • Advocacy and language support (interpretation of policies and procedures for deaf people in courts)

With our business case above, it demonstrates that businesses within the hospitality space function well, and even prosper, when giving the community that it surrounds hope and prosperity to function in the world of work.  Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs, for instance: 

Goal 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of life-long learning opportunities for all focuses on eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities. In addition, the proposal calls for building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and also provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. 

In Goal 8: to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, the international community aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. 

Closely linked is Goal 10, which strives to reduce inequality within and among countries by empowering and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities. 

Goal 11 would work to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable. To realise this goal, Member States are called upon to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, such as persons with disabilities. In addition, the proposal calls for providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for persons with disabilities. 

Goal 17 stresses that in order to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development, the collection of data and monitoring and accountability of the SDGs are crucial. Member States are called upon to enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), which would significantly increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data that is also disaggregated by disability. 

When incorporating talent practices within our businesses that both serve the Sustainable Development Goals and the community we are able to impact the SDG’s in a favourable fashion and our world we live in. 

Credit: Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands and Deaf SA Western Cape 

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with us.

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