Autism Expo: Department to partner with NGOs and expand services
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has committed itself to continue expanding services to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other intellectual disabilities.
This comes after Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, addressed the Autism Expo, held in Observatory.
The Autism Expo was attended by approximately 100 people, including parents of autistic children, experts in the ASD field from government, the private sector and NGOs. The Expo was hosted by NGO partner, #AutismSoWhat.
DSD is increasingly investing heavily in providing services and support for people living with intellectual disabilities. In total, DSD has allocated R64-million, and funds 112 organizations working with people with intellectual disabilities.
We have gradually begun to focus on building specialization in ASD, and now fund 3 organizations in this focus area;
· Autism Western Cape,
· Education & Training Hub for Autism Needs,
· Autism Connect.
These organizations render key services to the ASD community, such as residential facilities, day-care services, protective workshops and much needed social work services.
In addition to our existing efforts, DSD has started work on developing a strategy on the provision of a continuum of care. “Our specific intervention areas will be in early childhood development, with the aim of providing opportunities for children with autism” said MEC Fritz.
“We are also looking into the expansion of protective workshops and access to open labour market opportunities, such as in the IT and services sectors” said MEC Fritz at the Expo.
People with autism should have the same opportunities as everybody else, and DSD is committed to working with all our partners to expand services and opportunity. The public can seek more information by visiting any DSD local office, or by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za