Computer course changes lives

10 December 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Dorrelle CornbergSaluted: Dorrelle Cornberg was one of the three deaf employees to complete the basic computer literacy course.

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, and three deaf UCT employees received lifetime gifts when they completed the basic computer literacy course, offered by the Staff Learning Centre.

Dorrelle Cornberg, a research information assistant at the Development and Alumni Department; Thumeka Ntozini and Rudolph Priestley, both of the Health and Human Rights Programme at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, were the first deaf people to go through the computer literacy programme. They were among the 17 staff members to graduate this year, making this year's graduation even more special.

The three said they joined the programme to improve their skills, and the course exceeded their expectations.

"Before, I was unable to grasp with certain things at work, and this course has helped me to overcome that," Cornberg explained.

Excel was the most challenging part of the course, they agreed, while the three enjoyed Microsoft Word. They are now keen to move on to the advanced computer training.

Sign language interpreter Michelle Lombard, whose service was funded by a grant from the Staff Development Committee, was present during all classes to support the three employees.

Kirsty Holmes, manager of the Staff Learning Centre, reported that some people who had completed the course had never touched a computer before they enrolled six months ago.

"Now that you have graduated, a number of opportunities have been opened for you," she told the group.

Holmes added that it takes courage for adults to admit that they don't know something, and to join an educational programme to improve on their knowledge.

"For that reason, I salute you," she said.

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