Western Cape Network on Disability
Hi there! Welcome to our non-profit. We are a network for all organisations in the disability sector. The Network operates throughout the Province of the Western Cape and is a member driven organisation. We address gaps in service delivery to persons with disabilities, promote rights of people with disabilities as well as lobby and advocate for equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and share information amongst organisations in the disability sector.
What Makes Us Different?
What Makes Us Different?
The Western Cape is the only province in the country with a network of this nature, and our 20-plus year track record provides proof of the relevance of the organisation.
We are a membership driven organisation. We currently have a membership base of 74 organisations in the disability sector.
Membership of the Western Cape Network on Disability is open to all Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and their affiliates who are active in advocating the rights of or providing services to persons with disabilities.
Membership may, at the decision of the Executive of the Network, be granted to individuals where it is felt that their views and needs are not represented by any formal organisation or where their expertise can prove beneficial to the organisation in achieving its aims.
The Western Cape Network on Disability was started on 6 June 1997 but only registered as an NGO (NPO) on 23 April 2003 (NPO 025-006).
WCND works within the South African disability sector in order to:
· Promote an Inclusive Society
· Raise Awareness and Understanding of the Rights and Needs of Children and Adults with disabilities
· Create working partnerships between Service Providers and people with disabilities
· Create opportunities for Organisations of and for persons with disabilities to network and establish lasting relationships
· Represent the Rights and Needs of people with disabilities in Policy making processes
· Lobby for Appropriate services for all people with disabilities
· Monitor Legislation
Facilitate collaboration between persons with disabilities, and organisations of and for persons with disabilities, and represent the interests of persons with disabilities to Government, civil society and the corporate sector through networking, advocacy and lobbying, in order to promote the full inclusion and recognition of the Human Rights of persons with disabilities.
A collaborative disability sector where a person with disabilities and organisations of and for persons with disabilities work together to dismantle inequality in the Western Cape and across South Africa.
How To Get Involved.
Become a Board Member
Do you want to become a board member? We would love to have you on board. Please send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Volunteer your time/skills e.g. social media marketing, drafting policy documents, Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) documents, assist with daily administrative tasks a few hours a week/month as your schedule allows. If you want to volunteer, you should be able to work from home with minimal supervision.
Due to the nature of our work, monetary donations are highly appreciated to help us cover our operational costs. Please send a proof of payment of your donation to: firstname.lastname@example.org in order for your donation to be allocated appropriately. Click ‘donate’ for banking details.
The Western Cape Network on Disability was started on 6 June 1997. It emerged as a result of meetings between various individuals in the disability sector who had identified the need to work together in order to address a key challenge for persons with disabilities in the Western Cape, namely, a lack of accessible public transport. At this time, there were no formalised channels of communication between organisations in the disability sector and government and, as a result, individuals would knock directly on the doors of various Government officials hoping that their grievances would be heard. This approach was fractured and ineffective, as well as frustrating for government officials who asked why the disability sector could not organise themselves into a group to speak collectively with “one voice”. Organisations in the disability sector began to recognise the need for collaboration if their issues were to be taken seriously by government and addressed. This was the catalyst for the formation of WCND.
The initial interest group began to expand and was gradually recognised by Local Government as being a mouth-piece for the disability sector, focusing not only on the issue of accessible transport but expanding to advocate for access to, among other things, housing, education and recreation for people with disabilities across the province. The group eventually decided on a name and registered themselves as a NPO in April 2003.
Government departments welcomed the formation of an organisation able to represent the disability sector, recognising that, although there were people placed in Government offices responsible to deal specifically with disability related matters, they often knew very little about Special Needs services. Furthermore, provincial government structures already in place were also frustrated with National structures, where decisions made were not filtered down to people on the ground. WCND also identified the need for cross-sector collaboration and felt that bringing NPOs together would enable organisations to understand one another better in terms of the diversity of needs, perspectives and experiences that make up the South African disability sector.
GOVERNANCE: ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE: HOW WE OPERATE – OUR MODEL:
HUMAN RESOURCES: THE OFFICE:
WCND currently employs one staff member. Although we previously employed one part-time Co-ordinator and one part-time Secretary, in order to save costs, these two positions have been combined into one full-time position. However, we have found that the workload is challenging for one person to manage on their own. As such, we are exploring the possibility of splitting these roles once again, although we do not currently have sufficient funds to support this.
Management (Board members):
WCND has a Board who are responsible for Strategic Planning functions, as well as an Executive Committee who deal with the daily Operations, implemented by the Co-ordinator and Secretary.
All 8 Board members are volunteers with full time jobs in various organisations in the disability sector.
A successful outcome would be for our website to be seen as the preferred “go to” for all disability related matters – referrals to service providers, accessing a pool of persons with disabilities for employment and training opportunities, requests for disability awareness training, policy and legislative guidance for HR Departments, guidance on how to onboard employees starting a new job.
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