‘Art of Blindness’ Online Auction Celebrates the Talents of the Blind and Aims to Raise R1-million for World Leading Cyber Security Program

The Hein Wagner Academy aims to raise one-million Rand with an exclusive art auction. The funds raised will go towards expanding the world’s first training and certification program enabling blind Academy graduates to become specialists in the field of Cyber Security.

The online timed auction will run until November 30 and can be accessed via the website www.heinwagneracademy.org and follow the link for the auction.

Entitled the Art of Blindness, the Art auction platform will be the first of its kind to celebrate the unique talents of the blind through the medium of art.

Cyber Security expertise is currently facing a global skills shortage. “The training programme will develop a world-class high performing team to tackle this problem for corporates, the banking sector and more,” says Hein Wagner Academy founder, Hein Wagner.

While the initial focus for this concept is in South Africa, he says there are immediate plans to expand into Europe.

The Hein Wagner Academy is based in Worcester, South Africa and was founded in January 2019 by Wagner, a blind extreme adventurer and motivational speaker who was born blind and attended the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester from the age of five.

He founded the Vision Trust in 2009 and went on to play a key role in establishing the first-of-its-kind Technology Training Centre for the visually impaired in Africa using Apple technologies in 2016. Currently, this training centre forms part of the Hein Wagner Academy’s training facilities.

With a huge push towards data protection, security and IP protection, Wagner says one of the biggest business risks right now is a loss of confidential data, online security and protection.

The projected international skills shortage in cybersecurity is thought to be 3,5 million for 2020. “This presents a great opportunity for the visually impaired community to gain meaningful employment and utilize their unique gifts,” he explains.

The Art of Blindness timed auction will present a range of art sourced from some of the Western Cape’s most successful artists, selected to appeal to both new and seasoned collectors.

Exquisite artworks by renowned artists; Derric Van Rensburg, Richard Mcintosh, Michael Waters, David Kuijers, Rick Becker, Wakaba Mutheki, Wilma Du Toit, Pieter Van der Westhuizen and more to be announced.

Wagner says that funds from the auction will cover costs of bespoke software, hardware and the very specialized world-class training which will be provided at the Academy.

“This might not be the first virtual timed auction, but it will be unique in its presentation, with private viewing options available,” he adds.

According to Wagner, the Academy doesn’t stick to the normal confines of sight. It’s something different, breaking the paradigm of traditional thinking.

“We are blinded…by possibilities” – Hein Wagner

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