Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability: An Overview
Intellectual disability (ID) is one of the most overlooked disabilities in terms of service provision. The Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability (WCFID) is a support network for service providers in the field of ID.
The WCFID was originally established in 1971, starting out as a small group of concerned parents and individuals involved with persons with ID. It has since grown into a formally constituted, representational NGO, with a membership of over 150 organisations catering for people with intellectual disability in the Western Cape.
Aims, objectives and activities of the organisation
The main aim of the WCFID is to provide a support network for service providers in the field of intellectual disability in the Western Cape.
The objectives and activities of the WCFID are to:
- Provide training to service providers in the field of Intellectual Disability (ID): workshops and courses run from 2 hours to 3 full days. Many courses include CPD (continued professional development) points.
- Develop and produce innovative culturally appropriate training materials: training material has been developed and showcased at the World HIV Congress 2010 in Vienna, requested by the WHO, and sold throughout South Africa, and requested by numerous African countries.
- Provide information to the public (about ID, related resources, policy decisions etc.): 220 quarterly newsletters are circulated to our membership and interested parties. Updated data bases of service providers are maintained. Around 375 queries are handled annually.
- Promote co-operation, and thereby prevent wasteful overlap between, services: Numerous co-ordination support meetings are arranged by the Forum in the sector.
- Motivate, initiate and participate in research in the field: Ongoing
- Provide and strengthen social support networks in the sector: Ongoing
- Advocate and lobby on behalf of organisations and individuals in matters relating to the rights of persons with ID: Representation on the constitutional rights and needs of children and adults with intellectual disability is ongoing and in many spheres. This work has included a High Court judgment in 2010 in the WCFID’s favour, which has national and international implications.