Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands

10 Hemlock Street Newlands 7700 Cape Town South Africa +27 (21) 8226500

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Working to improve opportunities for deaf people in South Africa

Founded in 1929, DeafSA (formerly called the Deaf Federation of South African) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving education, services and opportunities for the Deaf community throughout South Africa. Their goals include both improved access and inclusion within wider society, as well as the development of specialised Deaf clubs, societies and other communities to support and empower their members.

DeafSA is committed to encouraging the use of South African Sign Language through such measures as campaigning for improved training and education, better interpretation services, and increased awareness amongst government and the public. This includes the promotion of research projects and subsequent distribution of findings and information, as well as the development of educational curricula and training programmes for deaf people and interpreters alike.

At heart, all their activities aim to protect the fundamental human rights of South Africa's Deaf community – ensuring that no deaf person is excluded or made to feel isolated as a result of their disability – and to make sure Deaf culture is granted the recognition and consideration it deserves in government policy, media transmissions and other forms of public activity.

Committed to diversity and inclusion

As the world's first hotel to employ deaf and hard of hearing staff, the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands is also committed to DeafSA's ideals of inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Deaf and hard of hearing employees fulfil roles throughout the business, both front and back of house, including positions in reservations, housekeeping, security and maintenance, among others. With an interpreter on hand to assist if necessary, guests and staff alike have a unique opportunity to experience South African Sign Language in action, while the deaf employees themselves are given a start in the hospitality industry, which can help open further doors in their careers.

Since undertaking this initiative, the hotel has been the recipient of the Guardians of Sustainability Award for Diversity & Inclusion. In addition to this honor, the hotel was granted a certificate of appreciation from The Quadpara Association of South Africa and recognition for achieving Universal Access Compliance.

To find out more about DeafSA and their work, visit their Facebook page or new website, which will be coming soon.