Unathi Mtolo, a Grade 11 pupil at Open Air School was selected to join the FOFA project this year at the University of Pretoria from the 19-23 rd of September. The University of Pretoria’s FOFA Communication Empowerment Programme focuses on empowering young people in South Africa who have severe disabilities and cannot speak, by giving them a voice through augmentative and alternative communication strategies. The project doesn’t only focus on improving their communication skills but also encourages them to become active and contributing members in their communities by showing them options for entrepreneurship, employment and community participation. The project also provides training for them to become advocates for other people with disabilities. The FOFA Programme has been running yearly since 2005 and each year, they obtain sponsorship to enable eight young adults and their personal assistants to be hosted at the University of Pretoria for a week of workshops, training, community participation and fun! Well done to Unathi for his selection into this wonderful programme. Unathi was also involved in a research project run by the University of Pretoria in collaboration with the CSIR to develop voices for speech generating devices in many different African languages. These voices are now available for use on different Alternative and Augmentative Communication devices.unathi


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