Is albinism a disability?

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Albinism is a condition that is present at birth and is characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes, due to an absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. It is an inherited condition and is the result of a recessive gene passed down from a parent.

"Persons with Albinism are usually as healthy as the rest of the population, with growth and development occurring as normal, but can be classified as disabled because of the associated visual impairments,' explains Siyakha Consulting?s Executive Director, Dionne Kerr.

"A lack of pigment in the eyes results in problems with vision, which can be associated with a number of visual defects,' she adds.

Adjustments to computer screens, like a larger and bolder font, and making use of contrast lighting in the workplace are areas in which employers can improve the working conditions for these employees.

For more information, email Cathy van der Zwan at cathy@siyakha.co.za or call her at 011 706 9006.

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