Workplace Disability

When Stephen Hawking passed away last week, the world lost an incredible human being, someone who was able to look past his physical limitations and become one of the great thinkers of our time.

Matric requirement limits both people with disabilities as well as organisations’ ability to maximise their B-BBEE score.


A mere 5% of people with disabilities have a matric according to Progression’s statistics. In addition, persons with disabilities make up less than 1% of the reported workforce. It is estimated that around 95% of persons with disabilities are unemployed.

With many companies striving towards diversifying their workforce, people with disabilities are becoming increasingly integrated into organisations. Yet despite these efforts, workplaces remain largely inaccessible to people with disabilities, with physical and attitudinal barriers still presenting a major challenge.

Securing a job in South Africa is a challenge to say the least, even more so for the country’s disabled citizens.

As a Business Development Consultant for Progression, Melanie Bothma interacts with many clients across a range of industries. An all too often occurrence however is the existence of common misconceptions, prejudices and stigmas that she sees on a daily basis.

South African employers are not only heeding legislation that governs the treatment of employees with disabilities, but are also taking advantage of skills development related tax rebates and the advantages of learnerships designed to boost HR capacity.

When a person has a disability it does not mean that they are not able to perform a task or do a specific job.

Despite the ongoing effort to introduce disability into the workplace, many people with disabilities still face discrimination when accessing the open labour market.

Despite the ongoing effort to introduce disability into the workplace, many people with disabilities still face discrimination when accessing the open labour market.

Accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace has been a slow process and greater effort should be made to develop a more diverse, inclusive workforce in South Africa.

“Not everyone with a disability experiences their condition in the same way. It therefore follows that reasonable accommodation cannot be the same for every individual with a disability.”

There has been an increase in the demand for people with disabilities (PWDs) in the workplace.

Continuing the success of 2015’s Disability Conference, Progression is bringing its 5th Annual Disability Conference for the first time to Cape Town, at the Protea Fire & Ice! Hotel on Thursday 9 June 2016.

Entering the workforce, in any capacity, is an unnerving task. Add the stigmas attached to being a person with disabilities into the mix and the potential for negative employment process and ultimately experience.

Despite the numerous efforts by employers to create an inclusive and diverse workforce, many work environments still remain inaccessible for persons with disabilities, presenting both physical and attitudinal barriers.

The Department of Labour?s Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF) have finally been
given legal status, which is expected to boost job creation for people with disabilities.

Embracing difference is the key to successful diversity management. In a
country which 'theoretically' embraces difference there are still so many
barriers that surround people with disabilities and their advancement in the

The procedure involved in completing the disability equity piece of the puzzle
may at first seem complex and challenging. However, with all the skills
development pieces in place, it is a highly rewarding long-term investment.

The North West Provincial Disability Rights Conference is expected to develop
a clear plan that will enable the province to accelerate the revised Job-Access
Plan targeting employment for people with disabilities.

People with disabilities will now have access to IT devices at an independent
institute of training, skills development and research, which will empower
them with the skills to become independent and employable.

As the country marks National Disability Rights Awareness Month, close to 1
200 people with disabilities will be targeted for employment by the provincial
administration within the next 10 months.

Youth living with albinisim battle with severe discrimination in the workplace and
society as a whole. In response to this government will create an awareness strategy
on albinism to dispel myths and eliminate discrimination and prejudice.

Training is not often readily available to persons with disabilities because of
misconceptions and as a result disabled people are missing out on an even greater
number of employment opportunities.


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