Its main feature is that customers order using SA Sign Language, one of the country’s official languages.
The café was made possible by donations. One donor was Ireland, represented by the Irish Ambassador, Liam MacGabhann, who said: “The café was dealing with the disabled young people in a way that would help them develop and be active within the economy, give them entrepreneurial skills, give them skills that would sustain them going forward, and that is important.”
Natascha McAllister, I Can SA KZN operations manager, said I Can is part of the Production Management Institute SA, an accredited training provider. “We provided the pupils and the qualification.
“They are conducting a learnership programme here, a business practice NQF level 1 and on the practical side they need to run and start a little business,” McAllister said.
She said what they were doing was not only about integrating young adults with disabilities into society and into the working world, but also creating awareness around disability and opening up people’s minds to the possibilities of those living with disabilities.
Amanda Clyde, a pupil facilitator who is also deaf, said she learnt a lot from the youngsters who were patient with her and also taught her new words.
“It is up to the people out there that they give them a chance.
“They are such wonderful people and they work hard and learn quickly. Being unable to hear makes them work harder and faster,” Clyde said.