How to assist co-workers living with Down Syndrome

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Policies are important and in place in the South African labour market to assist people with Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities in order to overcome challenges and be employed in the open labour market. 


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Policies are important and in place in the South African labour market to assist people with Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities in order to overcome challenges and be employed in the open labour market. Although people with these disabilities remain in the minority in the business world, people living with Down Syndrome need the support of their co-workers.

According to an article written by Peter Crosta and placed on www.medicalnewstoday.com on 6 December 2017 “Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that occurs when an error in cell division results in an extra chromosome 21. Down syndrome can affect a person's cognitive ability and physical growth, cause mild to moderate developmental issues, and present a higher risk of some health problems.”

If a person with developmental disabilities or Down Syndrome has a work mentor, it makes the integration into teams and the workplace easier. Also with the right training and skills development like typing or computer skills more work opportunities become available.

So how can you and your colleagues be supportive and assist your fellow co-worker living with this disability? Try following these guidelines:

There are different jobs people living with disabilities can do and vary from packing grocery bags at a supermarket, answering phones in an office to painters, musicians and even models. Cape Town even has a coffee shop employing only people with this disability called “ Brownies & Downies”. Have a look,

The truth is you can achieve anything you set your mind to and with the right help and assistance, you can reach your goals and help others in the process. Be that person who helps others become the best versions of themselves.

The Mindspa Institute offers Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training. This training workshop will enable your staff to have a better understanding of the variety of disabilities they may encounter and how to deal with this in a sensitive, practical manner. It will help them to overcome the natural fear we may have when we interact with a disabled person and give tips on awareness and etiquette in these situations. For more information visit www.themindspa.co.za or contact 010 110 0226.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” –Helen Keller

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