Belinda Speelman had no choice but to come to terms with the fact that her life will never be the same again after a serious car accident that left her paralysed from the waist down.
Belinda is a very soft-spoken, confident lady who lives an independent life despite her disability. Who she is today, came with a lot of challenges. For her the emotional challenge was probably the biggest as she felt so alone. Her friends became fewer because she did not want to leave her house, as she felt so ashamed of her wheelchair.
One of her friends, who is also a wheelchair user, told her about a free computer-training course that could improve her skills and knowledge and give her a break from staying indoors all the time. The computer training course was at the QuadPara Association of the Western Cape’s Digital Village, where she was confronted and inspired by other wheelchair users. Attending the course was the emotional breakthrough she needed.
She applied for another course and then applied for work. She landed an interview at Transnet, where she is currently employed. She is busy with her driver’s licence and in the proses of furthering her studies as a senior administrator.
A digital opportunity
The Gauteng North Digital Village is part of our larger Digital Village project, where computer centres in 3 different regions in South Africa provide basic computer training for persons with disabilities.
The Gauteng North Digital Village is based at QuadPara Association of Gauteng North office in Pretoria.
They recruit students with disabilities from local rehabilitation facilities, other disability agencies and networks, with a particular focus on persons in wheelchairs, to come and attend the one week basic computer training course offered at the Digital Village.
The trainer is Nthabiseng Kerwane, who is herself a wheelchair user. During the course, the students learn skills such as typing, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, email, preparing a professional CV and job interview readiness. A transport stipend is provided to students to assist them in attending the course.
Mouth Painters Art Exhibition
QASA is hosting a Mouth Painters Art Exhibition funded by the National Lottery in Durban in September this year.
Mouth painters and quadriplegic painters are invited to contact us to have their work considered for inclusion in the exhibition.
Previous exhibitions have proved to be very successful, generating great interest and support in the community.
Venue and exact dates to be confirmed closer to the time.
Another Driving Ambitions Success
After just 8 lessons in 6 weeks on our Driving Ambitions program Kgotso Nhlapo was ready for his drivers licence test on 5th December 2014, which he passed with flying colours.
“I have had the most wonderful experience at Driving Ambitions. Needless to say this has opened doors for me not only in terms of work but also in social realms. I will now be able travel and be free and not locked in the space of Public Transport,” says Kgotso.