The Deaf Empowerment Firm (Pty) Ltd. (DEF) is an empowerment company specialising in providing a highly professional service to Deaf people and people with hearing loss, hereinafter collectively referred to as the Deaf.  DEF is a 100% Black female-owned company established in 2015 to serve the Deaf through sourcing and securing economic empowerment opportunities specifically for the Deaf.

The world of disability is vast and complex. For the Deaf life is particularly challenging, especially in the area of education and job opportunities.  Nearly half of South Africa’s Deaf population have no access to formal schooling.  If they have not learnt Sign Language, they are cut off from any meaningful communication and are doomed to lead a life of ignorance and loneliness.  The resulting effect of this inadequacy in the education of the Deaf child has meant that the majority of Deaf people who are of employment age, would probably not have the qualification required for entry into the open labour market. The education levels of the Deaf vary from person to person and community to community, dependent on the nature of basic education that they have received in their elementary school training.  Deaf people in most cases have only reached up to grade 9, 10, 11 and sometimes perhaps, grade 12 in their level of basic education.  Unless Deaf people get an opportunity to receive some occupational skills training, they are doomed to a life of non-employability or employment in low key manual labour sectors.

The founder and Managing Director of the Deaf Empowerment Firm, Sikelelwa Alex Msitshana, although not born Deaf but being a person who lost her hearing late in life, got to know and work with young Deaf people when she was given an opportunity by an organisation for the Deaf to oversee its work placement programme.  In two short years with this programme, she managed to place close to fifty Deaf applicants in various organisations in the country.  This experience further gave her an insight into and an understanding of the challenges faced by Deaf people in accessing empowerment opportunities.  She came to realise, know and understand the importance of helping other Deaf people to get empowered as well.  Unfortunately, late in 2015 her organisation could no longer support the work placement office and Alex knew that the only way to continue her work would be by starting her own company.  Proudly, late in 2015 the Deaf Empowerment Firm (DEF) was founded.  The aim of DEF is to provide a holistic empowerment service to the Deaf through work placements, learnerships, internships, skills and enterprise development.  We aim to engage employers in order to get them on board in walking this journey towards the empowerment of the Deaf with us and members of the Deaf community.

We are delighted that through the work done previously and through word of mouth recommendations DEF’s candidate database is growing daily.  The majority of our candidates are entry level candidates however, we do have those candidates who have received training in specific skills and for employers who are in need of these specific skills, DEF will make these qualified candidates available as well.  Every responsible employer today is aware of the importance of including people with disabilities into their work place.  Should you have vacancies to offer to our Deaf people or want to meet with us to assist your organisation in identifying these positions, please contact us today.

Are you willing to walk this journey WITH US to empower the Deaf?????  If so, please contact us!

Thank you!