About us

What is AAC?

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are methods of communication used to compensate for the loss of speech. These methods include gestures, pictures, computers and speech generating devices.

Access to Communication is a basic human right. Interface uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to help people who have little or no functional speech communicate more effectively.

Who needs AAC?

Some children never develop proper speech while other speech difficulties can occur due to a head injury, a stroke or a degenerative condition. Essentially, anyone who cannot communicate effectively using speech needs to have access to AAC.

Meet the team

Felicity Jonck

Chairperson

Involved with Interface since 2003. 
Occupational therapist (B.Occ.Ther) & Augmentative and Alternative Communication (BA (Hons) AAC).

Elaine Byrne

Vice Chairperson

Involved with Interface since 2001. 
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (BA (Hons) AAC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). 

Trevor MacDonald

Treasurer

Involved with Interface since 2013.
Retired accountant. 

Dan Ngcobo

Honorary member

Involved with Interface since 2003. 
Mentor. 

Jayne Drögemöller

AAC Practitioner

Involved with Interface since 2018. Speech Therapist (B.Sc. Speech-Language Pathology).

Avishana Sewrajan

AAC Practitioner

Involved with Interface since 2012. 
Speech Therapist & Audiologist (B.Speech & Hearing Therapy) & Early Childhood Intervention (M.ECI).

Zwakele Dumakude

AAC Practitioner

Involved with Interface since 2019. Speech Therapist (BA Speech-language Pathology)

Casey van Schoor

AAC Practitioner

Involved with Interface since 2016.
BA Hons Counselling Psychology & PGCE Foundation Phase & Augmentative and Alternative Communication (BA (Hons) AAC).

Trudi Louw

Project Director

Commenced work at Interface in January 2012.
Public Relations Diploma.

Delani Doncabe

Translator/General Assistant

Involved with Interface since 2016.

Our Purpose…

Provide individual and group therapy to those who need access to AAC.

Providing ongoing support to AAC users and their families.

Educate the public about speech difficulties and the AAC method.

Continue developing AAC resources.

Our history 

Interface KZN began in 1997 when a group of passionate parents, educators and therapists realised that there was very little awareness of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with no support group and no implementation of AAC techniques in the KZN area. At a public meeting the formation of a NGO was discussed and volunteers formed a committee to plan for the launch of the organisation. The willingness of parents and the passion of therapists and educators led to the founding of the organisation. At the time, Interface was a national organisation and it was decided that this group would open a branch in KZN. The other branches of Interface disbanded over the years, resulting in Interface KZN becoming a stand-alone organisation in May, 2001.

Fundraising began at once and the launch of the organisation took place at Browns school. The organisation operated from Browns school in the beginning before moving to a small room at Whizz Kids Special Needs Centre. For many years, the funding for basic administration and other costs came from a gardener who sold ground covers from a committee member’s garden to landscapers. Parents, therapists and educators who served on the committee, participated in workshops and raised funds did so on a volunteer basis. In order for the organisation to remain sustainable this needed to change. The primary goal (in addition to always providing the core services of evaluation, intervention, training and the raising of awareness) of the years 2003 and 2004 was to secure funding for premises. The first independent premises were at a house rented in Westville in 2008. After receiving substantial funding, the move was made to the current premises in Underwood Road, Sarnia in 2009. This funding also led to the employment of a part time receptionist and the beginnings of a resource library.

Since 2009, Interface KZN has grown from strength to strength. Initially a full-time office manager was employed. More recently the capacity has increased to promote the office manager to Project director. Interface KZN has grown from two-part time, sessional AAC practitioners to two full time AAC practitioners in addition to part time staff. In 2018 a vehicle was donated to the organisation enabling the reach of the organisation to expand.

Interface KZN has always been a small but passionate NGO, made up of a diverse group of AAC users, clients, parents, therapists and teachers. At the forefront of all activities is our passion to strive towards the Interface KZN mission statement and objectives, which contributes hugely towards our success

 

Your contribution to Interface KZN will be greatly appreciated.