A Brief History

The Deaf Community of Cape Town (DCCT) was founded in 1987 as a non -governmental welfare organization whose aim is to address the needs of Deaf people in the Western Cape. Before DCCT was established there was a time when every third Sunday there were Deaf gatherings, and through these gatherings the need for services for Deaf people became apparent. This was especially relevant during the Apartheid era. With the leadership of Father Cyril, who at the time was deaf but is now blind as well, a small group of individuals started DCCT in 1987. At this stage DCCT had very little and used what was at the time a hostel for Deaf people as their base. However, in 1994 DCCT established offices in a building owned by DeafSA in Newlands. From here DCCT continued to grow and new staff members joined the organisation. The growth of DCCT meant that more services and programs were being offered to the community. Throughout the years DCCT has maintained the third Sunday meetings every month, as this is an opportunity for the community to meet and interact and share information.

DCCT's historical function was to serve the needs of the Black and Coloured Deaf community in the Western Cape, whose needs were neglected in the past by national bodies serving the Deaf. The organization has an active Deaf membership of 1090 members from whom direction is received. Those with voting powers on the executive committee are all Deaf members, and as such, DCCT has been a pioneer in South Africa, in placing Deaf people in positions of leadership. At present, the majority of DCCT full time personnel are all Deaf. These include one Administrator and three community development workers , all drawn from the same community that DCCT originally was established to serve. Funding for these positions is obtained from various subsidies and donations. In addition, a number of people are employed on a part time, or casual basis. These include the two Deaf literacy teachers and the literacy project coordinator. Funding for these part time staff members comes from funding donated specifically for the literacy project. Workers are also employed within the craftware project in which funds are generated from the sales of the goods produced.