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  • Izak de Vries

Maak Loslitdag ’n verskil?

Ek het hierdie foto gisteraand geneem. Talle mense dra vandag vreemde klere werk toe. Hoekom? Dit is Loslitdag, die dag waarop mense met fisiese uitdagings herdenk behoort te word. En tog, gebeur dit? Hoeveel van daardie geld wat vandag ingesamel word, gaan na mense wat dit nodig het?

Meer nog: Help ’n dag soos vandag? Of is dit bloot bling-bling?

Dr Wilhelm van Deventer, ’n blinde vriend van my, het vir my ’n stuk aangestuur uit die SA Labour Guide. Ek kon nie die skakel aanlyn kry nie, en ek voel so sterk oor die boodskap wat in die artikel vervat is, dat ek dit volledig plaas.

Employment equity and the rights of disabled employees

We remember disabled people by raising funds through the national casual day campaign.

Notwithstanding these actions to raise funds, disabled people receive little or no attention in many workplaces.

In 2009, the employment rate of disabled people fell from 1% to 0.5%. Various factors contribute to the low employment rate of disabled people.

One such a factor is the lack of reliable information on the nature and prevalence of disability in South Africa.

This is because, in the past, disability issues were viewed chiefly within a health and welfare framework.

This led naturally to a failure to integrate disability into mainstream government statistical processes.

At the same time, an estimated 99% of disabled people are excluded from employment on the open labour market.

The high levels of unemployment amongst people with disabilities can be attributed to a number of factors.

They include low skills levels due to inadequate education, discriminatory attitudes and practices by employers, past discriminatory and ineffective labour legislation, inaccessible public transport and unsupportive work environments, inadequate and inaccessible provision for vocational rehabilitation and training and ignorance in society.

The high level of functional illiteracy amongst disabled adults is a direct result of the lack of educational opportunities for children with disabilities, especially in rural areas.

The result is low skills levels and a correspondingly limited access to employment opportunities.

Another factor that must be taken into account is the tendency of society to view people with disabilities as a single group.

Thus, people in wheelchairs have become the popular representation of people with disabilities.

This ignores the diversity of disability and the variety of needs experienced by people with different types of disability.

Employers, in turn, stereotype disabled people into certain positions, such as; - the lady in the wheel chair is earmarked for the receptionist position, failing to recognise that disabled people can apply for any position in the organisation and should be assessed on competency first before the disability is assessed to determine whether the employer can reasonably accommodate the disability.

Employers also generally deem accommodation to be physical in nature, failing to understand that it applies also to the job, its content, job descriptions, performance agreements and performance assessments, selection criteria and selection tests, advertising and recruitment procedures.

The Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998 specifically deals with disability and defines “reasonable accommodation” as any modification or adjustment to a job or to the work environment that will enable a person from a designated group to have access to or to participate or to advance in employment.

Disabled people are defined as a “designated employee”, entitled to equality and equitable treatment in the workplace.

A person is disabled for the purpose of the Act, if such a person has a long term or recurring physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their prospects of entering into or advancing in employment. For the purpose of the Act, the disability must have a substantially limiting effect.

Vir meer inligting, besoek SA Labour Guide (, of bel hulle by: (012) 661 3208.

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