eDEAF celebrate staff cMBA graduation

eDEAF celebrate staff cMBA graduation
Pictured at the graduation (L-R):  Joseph Ndlovu, Lorraine Sibanda, Dimakatso Motimele, Cindy Malatji, Kishalya Naidoo, Sivesh Poonsamy, Nadia Mehter, Kevin Harding (SkillsTown), Sindie Kunene, Edward van der Walt, Nazereen Bhana (eDeaf CEO), Bart Hogendoorn (MD, SkillsTown Netherlands), Belinda Wagner (SkillsTown), Gijs Wetzer (SkillsTown), Andre Chetty, Colin Venter and Jesse Kotze’ (eDeaf, COO). Photo credit: Troy Panaino

eDEAF, a Deaf owned company that provides SETA accredited training with the goal of empowering Deaf communities for business, are extremely proud of eighteen of their staff members for successfully completing a Corporate MBA (cMBA).

SkillsTown, in collaboration with eDEAF, made the learning accessible to the Deaf by converting all the training material into South African Sign Language (SASL). “Sadly, accessible Deaf education is scarce and we are therefore delighted that this platform truly enables equal access to education for the Deaf community,” says Nicky Bezuidenhout, eDEAF Marketing & Communications Manager.

The cMBA is disrupting the world of leadership development. Whilst the cMBA does not replace the traditional MBA, which is academic and scientific, it focusses on offering a scalable, practical leadership development program to develop all levels of management.

The eight month program covered eight modules including: management and leadership, sales and marketing, organisation, strategy, innovation, human resource management and finance.

“The eighteen staff members were placed into three groups of six, each with their own strategic business plan, and were able to study both individually and in groups receiving wonderful support from their team members. Confidence and energy levels are definitely up and it is wonderful to see the team cohesion and motivation,” adds Bezuidenhout.

The cMBA aims to develop leadership skills and business process awareness by offering theory principals to participants that can be applied immediately within their respective work environments. “Teamwork and collaboration are encouraged and participants work together to provide practical, easy-to-implement solutions to various identified business objectives,” says Bezuidenhout.

A special graduation ceremony was held at eDeaf head office in Braamfontein, where each graduate was presented with their certificate of completion. Bart Hogendoorn, SkillsTown Managing Director, flew out from the Netherlands to attend the inaugural graduation event with the first group of Deaf individuals to ever complete the training.

“I felt truly honoured and proud to be a part of the graduation ceremony. I seldomly experience an event where the participants of a learning program show so much gratitude towards each other and the team. Their sheer joy and pride in celebrating the finalisation of this program was incredibly heartwarming,” says Hogendoorn.

“The cMBA program is scalable due to its affordability, allowing companies to enroll twenty-five staff on this program for less than the cost of one traditional MBA program. It enables companies the ability to identify future leaders for the purposes of growth, development and succession planning. The program was a resounding success and we look forward to upskilling more staff in the years to come,” says Bezuidenhout.

Through their partnered solutions approach, eDEAF strives to provide the open labour market with trained and skilled Deaf people who are ready to become part of the mainstream economy.

The Deaf community is one of the most marginalised groups in South Africa due to the fact that they cannot communicate freely with the hearing world. As such they are often regarded as incompetent or not intelligent, and not fit to be employed. “This is far from the truth! Many companies have employed Deaf persons with great success, proving that in some career fields the Deaf can be just as good as, or even better than hearing employees,” explains Bezuidenhout.

eDEAF has grown to a staff compliment of 62 (82% of whom are Deaf), and operates from four training hubs in Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.

“In addition, we recently launched an online course offering a basic introduction to SASL at a nominal cost of only R500 per person. The training is self-paced, allowing you to work through the content at your leisure. The link to the training is available for a month from date of purchase and on conclusion you are able to download a certificate of completion. This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in learning more about the Deaf community, their culture, and SASL signs to support everyday conversations,” concludes Bezuidenhout.

To register for the South African Sign Language online training, contact [email protected]

Watch this short video about the cMBA program: https://youtu.be/Q4qjq8M8WAo

For more information please visit: www.edeaf.co.za