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Skills Transfer and Business Hub

The Skills Transference Centre and Business Hub aims to kickstart and accelerate autistic people’s entry into the formal economy. The Centre currently includes a modified workspace providing reasonable accommodation through the provision of self regulatory/calming or downtime space; supervised, visual work schedules; skills assessment and training from an experienced Occupational Therapist and an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialist; facilitators to provide expertise and skills transfer, and a work-integrated learning environment for ease of movement into the market place and maximum skills development. Twelve young adults are currently enrolled, and the programm is run by Mangager Khaya Mkhwanazi.

Board of Management:

  • Dr Gugu Mchunu - Academic and Head of Nursing at UKZN (Chair)
  • Dr Ismail Moola - Psychiatrist
  • Liza Aziz - Action in Autism Chairperson and the mother of a young autistic adult
  • Kirsten Miller - Director of the Action in Autism Centre
  • Thev Guraya - Occupational Therapist and Lecturer at UKZN
  • Douglas Gounden - Special Education Specialist and the father of an autistic adult
  • Willene Holness - Law Lecturer, Disability Specialist
  • Nombulelo Yeni - Department of Education Educational Specialist

A coffee shop and retail space created from modified containers to provide on-site, hands-on skills and work experience is scheduled for 2020.

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A Walk in Resource and Support Centre

Action in Autism provides a comprehensive service to families: information booklets on autism, a list of health care professionals that service our people with autism, and a comprehensive list of schools for people with autism. We support families in accessing a diagnosis, accessing a social grant, and accessing an educational facility to cater for the specific needs of their child.

An Early Learning Intervention Centre

childrenIn line with our objectives to provide resources for children with autism, Action in Autism established an Early Learning Intervention and Educational Centre for Infants and Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, in operation since 2009. This was established as a pilot programme for the government to emulate. It is the first early intervention centre in KwaZulu-Natal that caters for learners with autism This programme is headed up by Educational Psychologist Sabashnie Govender.

Read more: An Early Learning Intervention Centre

Monthly Support Meetings

parentsAction in Autism meets once a month with its constituency to provide a platform for invited experts to inform, educate and support parents; to establish lobbying and advocacy strategies to further the cause of people with autism; and to lobby government to provide educational facilities for our children with autism. It is also a platform for network and support.

The Aspies Support and Social Group is facilitated by psychologist Taegan Devar.

Social Gatherings

familyAction in Autism regularly organises social bring and braai gatherings to allow parents and children much needed respite and a rare opportunity to relax.

Because of the stress and paucity of support facilities there are few opportunities for families to socialise.

Awareness / Fund Raising Initiatives

march

Action in Autism hosts an annual public World National Awareness Day in the month of April. A week before the event Action in Autism hosts a pizza and paint day for families to make their own posters.

A Monthly Diagnostic Clinic

Community ClinicAction in Autism hosts a free monthly diagnostic and assessment clinic. Through the services offered by eminent consultant psychiatrist Dr. M. S Salduker, and paediatric neurologists Dr Vasantha Govender and Dr Yavini Reddy, Action in Autism continues to provide a service to those most in need.

Government Lobbying

Through our lobbying and advocacy efforts, Action in Autism initially galvanised the Department of Education KZN to transform 13 schools to cater for learners with autism spectrum disorder. Historically there was no school that catered solely for people with autism. Using government policy White Paper 6 on Inclusive Education (2001) and The South African Schools Act, Action in Autism has fast tracked the delivery of education to people with autism.

Through the Autism Indaba in 2011, in partnership with the Department of Education KZN, Action in Autism ensured that previously “specialised schools organised according to disability” now include all learners with autism and high support needs – this, in accordance with White Paper 6. We fought and advocated for the right of all learners to be accommodated within their district and their community and for the dissemination and development of skills and knowledge across the 12 districts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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