A space for creative therapy, which is vital to the curriculum, will benefit the Seven Steps Academy for the Deaf
Location: Zonneblom, Western Cape
About: In 2018, when the Dominican Grimley School for the deaf in Hout Bay, Cape Town closed, a derelict school building was found in Zonneblom to accommodate the children. Although the refurbishment is now complete, there is still not enough space to accommodate all the children comfortably.
It has 93 learners from the age of four to 20 and is the only school for the hearing-impaired in the country that goes up to matric. Tuition at Seven Steps Academy is provided in the oral-aural method rather than in the manual (sign) system of communication.
The children learn to communicate in English, which will enable them to succeed in both tertiary education and in the workplace. The majority of the learners are drawn from underprivileged backgrounds and have lost their hearing due to syndromes, illness, and neglect. They do not have access to early intervention and their hearing loss is often only identified in the first few years of school.
Challenge: The new premises have insufficient space and there are no extra available rooms. Creative and performance art plays an integral role in the curriculum, as the learners face many emotional and physical challenges, and they benefit greatly from this form of therapy. A space for art and creative therapy in the pre-school classes is greatly needed.
The need: A 42m2 prefabricated classroom to be used for art and creative therapy for the younger age groups
Beneficiaries: 93 children aged 4 to 19