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Employing people with disabilities

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Employing people with disabilities

  1. 1. Employing People with Disabilities “everything is possible”
  2. 2. i Employing People with Disabilities “everything is possible”
  3. 3. DEEP ii E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s T he rights of disabled persons around the world are now protected by a range of instruments at international and national level, and South Africa is at the forefront of constitutional protection for people living with disabilities. I am proud that this commitment has received unequivocal support from the De Beers Group - a commitment to promote the rights of people with disabilities and to proactively encourage their employment within our organisation. This commitment goes back to the time of the Mining Charter, but became fully realised with the establishment in 2008 of our Voorspoed Mine in the Free State province. Of course, while progressive legislation might be enshrined in law, society still requires a willingness to embrace changes and shifts in norms and values for the legislation to be given life. So even though South African employment laws require that employers make a commitment to include people with disabilities in their teams, in line with trendsthroughoutindustrialsocietiesacrosstheworld,therestillremainsthechallenge of shifting negative images and incorrect assumptions about the relative value of people with disabilities in society. Often it comes down to simply a lack of knowledge or information about disability and what it really means. Sometimes it has been the result of the voices of people living with disability not being heard. In this regard, De Beers aims to be seen as a proactive market leader, an agent for change and a disability-confident company. We aim to promote a culture of inclusion for disabled people, understanding that to do this will require some adjustments, not only with regard to physical space but, even more importantly, to the mindsets and attitudes to which I alluded. We believe that our people are up to the task. Today more than ever, businesses need people with a demonstrated ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. And perhaps more than any other group, people with disabilities possess precisely these attributes. On a daily basis, they are challenged to think creatively about solving problems and accomplishing tasks. In the workplace, this resourcefulness translates into innovative thinking, fresh ideas and varied approaches to confronting business challenges and achieving success.
  4. 4. iii foreword I am proud to be able to detail the lessons we have learned and the methods which we have employed at what I like to refer to as our ‘new-age mine.’ I believe that Voorspoed will come to be seen as a touchstone for future sustainable mining, in touch with its community aspirations and community development, of which disability empowerment is a crucial element. Of course, how we approach disability remains an evolving concept, at which we can only improve. I encourage you to critically absorb our thinking, in the hope that it may prove useful for the betterment of all our communities and employees. Nicky Oppenheimer Chairman, De Beers Consolidated Mines B ack in 2006, De Beers Consolidated Mines expressed its commitment to the integration and mainstreaming of disabled people at its Voorspoed Diamond Mine in the Free State, and to expanding the approach to other DBCM work places and communities. While research shows that people with disabilities make excellent employees, not all employers know how to effectively recruit, hire and retain such individuals. Disability adds another dimension to the efforts being made to enrich diversity, contributing to thedevelopmentofuniqueandcreativebusinesssolutions.Employeeswithdisabilities come from all backgrounds and ages, and have varied skills and perspectives, adding value to any work place.
  5. 5. DEEP iv E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s However, many employers are still reluctant to employ people living with disabilities, as they believe, largely incorrectly, that major changes will need to be made to the work place, or that disabled people require special attention that will take other people away from their work. These are all assumptions with little basis in fact or experience. While it is true that“reasonable accommodations”are required, these are modifications or adjustments to work environments, or workplace policies that enable qualified employees with disabilities to perform the fundamental duties of their jobs and have equal access to benefits available to able bodied employees. These are often easier and less expensive to implement than commonly believed. The Voorspoed experience has been enormously positive and exciting. Voorspoed has been able to employ individuals with disability in all areas of the mine operation, in technical and non-technical positions. De Beers would not have been able to make such great strides without having the right partnerships. Effort is needed in recruiting and integrating disabled people into the existing work force. Employersshouldbeproactiveandexpandtheirrecruitmentsearchininnovative ways, seeking new avenues for publicizing job opportunities and identifying qualified candidates. Once an employee with a disability is a part of the team, a seamless and positive integration within the workforce is needed. Support for employer, employee and colleagues is required. Progress made at Voorspoed Mine with regard to the employment and integration of people with disabilities should serve as a source of inspiration to other employers to follow suit in expanding their search for the right person for the job – whether able bodied or disabled. David Noko Managing Director, De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited
  6. 6. v T he Ponahalo De Beers Disabled Persons’ Trust is proud to have initiated the Disabled Persons’Employment Equity Programme (DEEP) – an initiative geared towards opening up work opportunities for people with disabilities. Here we were fortunate that Voorspooed Mine came on stream in 2007. This gave us, as the Trust, a unique opportunity to raise with the Mine, the issue of including a significant number of people with disabilities in their job recruitment drive. From these small beginnings back in 2007 grew a wonderful project – which has turned out to be much bigger than the sum of its parts. New employees with a variety of disabilities have, and continue to be recruited to Voorspoed Mine. But equally important, the Voorspoed initiative steers a path for local entities – from both private and government sectors, demonstrating the considerable benefits to all parties of employing people with disabilities. Out of DEEP has come an exciting DVD that documents both the challenges and triumphs of DEEP, as well as this Handbook for Employers. The Project has also led to the growth and further strengthening of the disability movement in the Fezile Dabi district of the Free State, which, as a result of Ponahalo’s support, now boasts a disability network covering six towns in the district. We look forward to the continued participation of the Ponahalo De Beers Disabled Persons’ Trust in this exciting work. Manne Dipico Chairperson, Ponahalo de Beers Disabled Persons’Trust foreword
  7. 7. DEEP vi E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s
  8. 8. 1 Foreword .................................................................................................................................................................................ii Chapter 1: Some Background Information about Disability.................................. 2 Disabled People Worldwide .......................................................................................................................................2 A Brief History of Disability ........................................................................................................................................................................3 Causes of Disability.......................................................................................................................................................................................4 The Modern Approach to Disability ......................................................................................................................................................5 Who is a Disabled Person?.........................................................................................................................................................................5 The International Background ................................................................................................................................................................5 Some Common Myths about Disability..............................................................................................................................................6 Employment and Disability..........................................................................................................................................7 Assessing whether an employee falls into a disability category................................................................................................7 Chapter 2: Disability Rights in South Africa ............................................................. 7 PWD – Rights and Obligations .................................................................................................................................8 The Benefits of Recruiting People with Disabilities.......................................................................................9 Chapter 3: Employing People with Disabilities ........................................................ 9 Making the Business Case for Disability............................................................................................................12 Specific legislation .........................................................................................................................................................13 Equity plans .......................................................................................................................................................................13 Chapter 4: The Legislative Environment in South Africa ......................................13 Chapter 5: A Disability Confident Company ...........................................................15 Physical accessibility ................................................................................................................................................................................. 16 Chapter 6: Reasonable Accommodation .................................................................17 PWD Employment Experiences ...........................................................................................................................19 Chapter 7: The De Beers Voorspoed Mine Experience ..........................................20 Where it began.................................................................................................................................................................20 The Recruitment and Employment Process...................................................................................................21 1. Getting buy-in from the employer.................................................................................................................................................. 23 2. Identifying available job opportunities........................................................................................................................................ 23 3. Identifying potential applicants...................................................................................................................................................... 23 4. Pre-screening/ Matching process.................................................................................................................................................... 23 5. Assessment and other tests ............................................................................................................................................................... 24 6. Interviews.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 24 7. Appointment and Employment .................................................................................................................................................... 25 8. Reasonable Accommodation........................................................................................................................................................... 25 9. Integration of the workforce.............................................................................................................................................................. 25 Sharing the experience – what did Voorspoed Mine learn? ...............................................................26 Recognition of the Voorspoed Mine initiative..............................................................................................27 Chapter 8: Appendices ................................................................................................28 Appendix One: Kinds of Disability........................................................................................................................28 Appendix Two: Resources .........................................................................................................................................30 Resource and Support Organisations................................................................................................................................................ 30
  9. 9. DEEP 2 D i s a b l e d P e r s o n s ’ E m p l o y m e n t E q u i t y P r o g r a m m eDEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s What is Disability? There are many different kinds of disability and also different degreesofdisability.Thegenerallyaccepteddefinitionfromthe World Health Organization is that disability is any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. Some disabilities, for example, physical impairments, are usually fairly easy to see, whereas others, such as a disability that relates to emotional or learning difficulties, can be difficult to pick up. W hileitisimpossibletoestablishtheexactnumber of People With Disabilities (PWD) worldwide, an estimated figure of 500 million is widely accepted. In most countries, at least one person in every ten is likely to be disabled by physical, mental or sensory impairment, and at least 25 per cent of any population is adversely affected by the presence of disability. The United Nations World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons (Enable) estimates that disability affects 15-20% of every country’s population, and it puts the total at 650 million people with disabilities worldwide. It follows, therefore, that if adjustments and adaptations can be made in the workplace to promote the employment of PWD, then many people’s lives will be positively affected as their chances of meaningful and gainful employment increase.
  10. 10. S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 1 3 People With Disabilities includes people with: Physical impairments Sensory impairments (deaf people, blind people) Chronic illness or health issues, including HIV and AIDS All kinds of learning difficulties Emotional, mental health and behavioural problems Epilepsy Diabetes Sickle cell anaemia Specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia Speech and language impairments Any kind of disfigurement Mental distress or mood disorders There are many kinds of disability, and the causes of disability are equally varied. A detailed list of the different kinds of disability and how these may be identified is found at the end of this manual. Negative attitudes and stereotypes have been reinforced by society and religion over many centuries. In Ancient Greece and Rome, the philosopher Aristotle advised getting rid of a child if it was imperfect and Greek law dictated that a newborn baby was not really a child until seven days after birth, so that an imperfect child could be disposed of with a clear conscience. From these beliefs arose the enduring idea that ‘good’looked beautiful and the deformed and disabled were‘bad’. The Renaissance promoted the Greek and Roman views of the perfect body in sculptures and paintings, which reinforced the idea that people who were different or disabled were less deserving of respect and care. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century saw a shift in attitudes. It was important to have a large and strong workforce for the growing numbers of factories and mills, and disabled people were of little use as workers. However, there was a view that disabled people were the“worthy poor”and they were given shelter in workhouses or were given money from public funds to survive, albeit with little dignity or comfort. In general, people with disabilities were increasingly segregated, shut away in institutions for life, or sterilised so that they would not pass on‘defective’genes. There was much suspicion and abuse of disabled people. Even in the first half of the 20th century, institutionalisation or sterilisation of disabled people occurred, such as in the United States, where born-deaf women and anyone with an IQ under 70 could be sterilised. As recently as the 1980s, seventeen states still had these laws on their statute books.
  11. 11. DEEP 4 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s These views were strongly held in Nazi Germany, and under Hitler at least 140 000 physically and mentally disabled adults were murdered at the hands of Third Reich doctors. The first concentration camp at Dachau was built before World War II to imprison disabled people along with other ‘undesirable’ and ‘inferior’ groups such as Gypsies, homosexuals and, of course, Jews. The killing of disabled children continued until the end of the War in 1945. Through the years there have been many times when politicians and others have suggested that disabled people should not have been allowed to live, or when voluntary euthanasia has been suggested. If this had indeed happened, then the world would never have known Beethoven (deaf); Toulouse Lautrec (short stature); Stephen Hawking (motor neurone disease); Einstein (dyslexic); Lord Byron (club foot); Franklin D. Roosevelt (polio in both legs and unable to walk unaided);Winston Churchill (depression); and Helen Keller (deaf and blind). Many factors are responsible for the rising numbers of people with disabilities and their consequent isolation from the mainstream of society. The fact that people with disabilities are marginalised and discriminated against creates an environment in which prevention and treatment are difficult. Violence and War: Disabilities are caused by violence, especially against women and children; injuries as a result of landmines, and psychological trauma. Poverty: Disabilities are caused or exacerbated by overcrowded and unhealthy living conditions. Disability feeds on poverty, and poverty on disability. Failure of Medical Services: The occurrence of disability is increased by the inadequacy of primary health care and genetic counselling services; weak organisational links between social services; incorrect treatment of the injured when accidents occur, and the inappropriate use of medication. Unhealthy Lifestyles: Disability is caused by the misuse of medication as well as the abuse of drugs and other substances. It is also caused by deficiencies in essential foods and vitamins. Disability may also be caused by stress and other psycho-social problems in a changing society. Environmental Factors: Disabilities are caused by epidemics, accidents and natural disasters; pollution of the physical environment, and poisoning by toxic waste and other hazardous substances Accidents: Disabilities are caused by industrial, agricultural and transport related accidents and sports injuries.
  12. 12. S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 1 5 The first organised movement of people with disabilities arose in the 1890s. Through the National League for the Blind and Disabled, the first disability movement in the United Kingdom was established where disabled people organised collectively against discrimination. Supporters of the disability movement believe that discrimination against disabled people is sociallycreated and has little to do with their impairments, and that therefore disabled people are unfairly discriminated against. They are often made to feel that being disabled is their own fault and that they have less value in society than able- bodied people. In most societies, difference and diversity are not valued as highly as they should be and this promotes fear, ignorance and prejudice towards many people and groups who are seen as being ‘different’, including PWD. These negative views are often reinforced by images in the media. Fortunately, the rights of people with disabilities are now being more strongly promoted, and PWD are encouraged to value themselves and their differences as being positive contributions to diversity in their communities. There are many stereotypes of disability that persist within most societies, and this contributes to ongoing discrimination against disabled people. It is important to know that anyone, at any time, can become disabled, or develop a physical or mental impairment. It could be someone’s sister, child, best friend or work colleague who, through no fault of their own, becomes disabled without warning. What disabled people want more than anything else is to be accepted as individuals, and to have their rights guaranteed in law and in practice. People with disabilities do not expect special favours – all they are asking for is equal treatment. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted with unprecedented support on 13 December 2006. The Convention highlights the significant shift in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. Instead of being viewed as ‘objects’ of charity, medical treatment and social protection, PWD are now increasingly being treated with a new respect as independent people who make their own decisions and are active and productive members of society. The Convention is a human rights instrument with a clear social development component, and is unique in that it is the first human rights convention of the 21st century and the first legally binding instrument with comprehensive protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. It places an obligation on the State to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities and defines the requirements for an enabling environment so that PWD can enjoy real equality in society. The State also has a responsibility to raise awareness, and to ensure that mechanisms are in place to uphold the rights of PWD in accordance with the recognised conventions and protocols. PWD make positive contributions to diversity in their communities PWD do not expect favours, only equal treatment. PWD are active and productive members of every society
  13. 13. DEEP 6 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Myth: People with disabilities are different from ‘normal’ people What is considered normal? People with disabilities think, feel and act the same as other people. Myth: People with disabilities always need help or assistance Many people with disabilities are in fact very independent and able to give help to others in a variety of ways. Myth: Able bodied people must take care of people with disabilities Anyone may offer assistance in a respectful way, but most people with disabilities would rather be responsible for themselves. However, they may well need assistance, but would like to be consulted on the kind of support to be offered. Myth: People with psychiatric disabilities are insane A psychiatric disability may be caused by the person being emotionally disturbed or psychiatrically ill. These mental illnesses include conditions such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. All these illnesses can easily be treated or managed. Myth: People with learning difficulties are mentally challenged Learning difficulties are not the same as intellectual disabilities. Dyslexia is a common example of a learning difficulty. A person with learning difficulties may well be highly intelligent. Myth: People with disabilities are brave, inspiring and have a strong character People with disabilities are human, just like anyone else: they have their good and bad points, and their good and bad days. It is unfair to place them on a pedestal and expect them to meet the expectations of others. It is also impolite to remind them, even if one is trying to be kind, of their particular situation or disability. Myth: People with a disability are not able to manage their personal affairs or make their own decisions While some disabilities may mean that the person needs some assistance, most people with disabilities are able to manage their own lives adequately and often very successfully.
  14. 14. 7 T h e E n a b l i n g E n v i r o n m e n t chapter 1D i s a b i l i t y R i g h t s i n S o u t h A f r i c a chapter 2 I n line with progressive international thinking, South Africa’s Constitution stands as a guiding light for the realisation of disability rights. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution outlaws discrimination on any grounds, including disability. The Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) declares disability to be a human rights and development issue. It designates priority areas to be targeted such as education and training, employment, income maintenance, social security, and housing. Each of these areas is assigned to a line department for action. The INDS also recognises environmental access as a major concern, including the accessibility of public buildings, or access to equal job opportunities. As a result, the Office on the Status of Disabled Persons (OSDP) has been established in the Presidency and the Offices of the Premiers. Progressive labour legislation requires that employers with more than 50 employees are required to register employment equity and skills development plans with government, which must be reported on regularly. The penalties for non-compliance are presently being reviewed and it is expected that these will become more severe. The legislation requires that two per cent of posts in the public sector should be occupied by PWD and the National Skills Development Act requires that two per cent of learnerships should be occupied by PWD. Voluntary disclosure is necessary, and an environment of trust is required that must be built up between the employer and the employee that will encourage disclosure. People with disabilities are defined as “people who have long-term or recurring physical or mental impairments which substantially limit their prospects of entering into, or advancement in, employment”.
  15. 15. DEEP 8 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Inasmuch as people with disabilities have equal rights, they also have obligations. It is their duty to take part in the building of their society and community. Disabled people themselves are clear about their expectation of being treated as equals. They do not want favours and hand-outs – their overriding need is that government, employers and communities should work together to provide an enabling environment in which they can compete as equals. The greatest barrier to participation is not the particular disability of the person, but rather attitudes in society, which are often negative and uninformed. The focus should be on the ability, not on the disability, of disabled persons. Around the world, people with disabilities are coming together to influence decision- makers in government and other sectors. As part of civil society, the disability sector is a vibrant and inspiring player that should be supported and encouraged in its further development. The real barrier to the inclusion of PWD is the attitudes in society
  16. 16. 9 T h e E n a b l i n g E n v i r o n m e n t chapter 1E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s chapter 3 T here is a strong business case for integrating people with disabilities into your operation. The key to a successful business is finding and keeping good talent. People with disabilities are often an untapped talent pool. The reality is that these employees usually have a strong work ethic and a real commitment to adding value to their workplace. A survey in Australia showed that, over a 15-month period, people with disability were absent 11.8 days as compared to people without disability who were absent 19.24 days. In the United States, it was shown that 86% of PWD have average or superior attendance records. Workplace loyalty is a well known trait amongst PWD. In New Zealand, PWD worked on average 4.1 years in a call centre, compared with 3.2 years for people without a disability. The average cost of employing PWD is therefore effectively reduced because they tend to stay with an employer longer. Scrupulous attention to their physical environment results in PWD having fewer workplace accidents. Employees with disability averaged one-sixth the recorded occupational healthandsafetyincidentsofemployeeswithoutdisabilities, and 98% have average or superior safety records.
  17. 17. DEEP 10 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Quite apart from the statutory need to comply with legislation, there are many positive factors that relate to productivity and professionalism. In a rapidly changing world, customers and employees are proud to support those businesses that improve the quality of life of workers, their families, the community and society. One in five customers of the average business is likely to be a person with disability. Knowledge of this growing market segment can assist businesses to meet customers’needs more effectively. This is an invaluable marketing benefit that relates to the goodwill of a business. In the United Kingdom, for example, a DIY store chain, B&Q, successfully employed PWD in their stores, reporting that sales increased as a result of better customer care. At a practical level, employers have access to a new pool of skilled applicants who, because they have had to deal with many challenges in their own personal situations, have very often developed a range of excellent personal skills alongside their professional skills, including problem-solving and creative solutions to challenges. In South Africa, a critically important reason to employ PWD is to address the ongoing skills shortage. It is therefore timely for employers to seriously consider untapped sources to meet their skills needs, and PWD is an excellent resource. It is important to keep in mind that many people classified as PWD have only minor disabilities or impairments that will in no way prejudice their work performance. Yet, according to the 2001 Census, 80% of PWD remain unemployed in a context of skills scarcity. Good Reasons to Employ People With Disabilities Over90%ofemployerswhohadrecentlyemployedapersonwithadisabilitysaidtheywouldbe keentocontinueemployingthem. Inrelationtothecostbenefitofworkplaceaccommodations for employees with a disability, 65% of employers rated the financial effect to be cost neutral and 20% identified an overall financial benefit. In the past decade a number of surveys have been conducted around the world regarding the employment of PWD. Employers usually reported positive experiences, and in general, PWD were seen as highly motivated individuals with good skills and fresh perspectives. They reflected the diversity of the local community and had a good track record with regard to low absenteeism, and good health and safety records. They had a high level of productivity, and wereseenasloyalandhard-working. Whenaskedaboutthenegativeaspects,mostemployers reported that there had not been any disadvantages experienced in employing PWD. The principles of employment are the same for people with disability as those without disability. Themainfocusshouldbeonwhethertheindividualhastheskillsandaptitudetodothejob. Customers are proud to support businesses that show a social conscience PWD bring creative solutions to challenges in the workplace
  18. 18. E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e w i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s chapter 3 11 In the United Kingdom, a good example comes from the international finance institution, Goldman Sachs, which in partnership with the British National Autistic Society made placements available for people with Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of autism. Sufferers often experience social difficulties, but are exceptionally good at technical skills and figures. Minor accommodations were made and the resulting placements were very successful. An important aspect of employing PWD in South Africa relates to the promotion of equity in the workplace. For example, the Employment Equity Act of 1998 states that two per cent of a company’s workforce should be employees with a disability. Good scores on the Generic BEE Scorecard enable companies to position themselves more favourably in the business world, not only in terms of procuring work from government, but also in relation to other companies, since all the BEE Scorecard scoring is interlinked. The Department of Labour has many resources available to assist employees to develop equity plans and extensive information is available. Employing PWD in the hospitality industry in Chicago – A Success Story In the United States, De Paul University conducted a study on the feasibility of employing PWD in the hospitality, retail and health care sectors between 2002 and 2005 for the Chicago Chamber of Commerce. The study found definitively that PWD were just as dependable, productive and reliable as fully-abled persons. In the retail and hospitality sectors, where staff turnover tends to be high, PWD stayed in their jobs longer than non-disabled counterparts; and very few special accommodations were required, mostly at a low cost. It was found that employer misperceptions were the main blockage to the employment of PWD. The main concern that employers expressed was a fear of the potential cost of accommodations, even thoughemployerswhohadinfactemployedPWDconfirmedthatthesewereminimalandthat the advantages such as employee commitment and productivity far outweighed the costs.
  19. 19. DEEP 12 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s A disability confident company: understands how disability affects every aspect of its business - people, markets, communities, suppliers and key stakeholders creates a culture of inclusion and removes barriers for groups of disabled people makes adjustments that enable specific individuals to contribute, whether as employees, customers, partners or valued stakeholders does not make assumptions about what people can do on the basis of a label. Many businesses assume that accommodating disabled people is a costly exercise, when in fact it is quite the opposite. Anticipating the needs of disabled people by developing a business case for disability confidence will see gains across the organisation. TheEmployers’ForumonDisabilityintheUnitedKingdomisaparticularly good source of information for companies wishing to make a strong case for increasing their numbers of people with a disability. (http://www.efd.org.uk/sites/efd.org.uk/files/The_Business_case_for_disability_ confidence.doc)
  20. 20. 13 T h e E n a b l i n g E n v i r o n m e n t chapter 1T h e L e g i s l a t i v e E n v i r o n m e n t i n S o u t h A f r i c a chapter 4 A bout 600 million people are disabled in some way, 2,5 million of them living in South Africa, where an enabling legislation is in place with regard to the rights of PWD, including in the workplace. The Code of Good Practice on Disability in the Workplace has been issued by the Minister of Labour in terms of Section 54 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 on the advice of the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) and this Act regulates the situation of PWD in the workplace. These are the Code of Good Practice on the Implementation of Employment Equity Plans Employment Equity Act Regulations under the Employment Equity Act, and Technical Assistance Guidelines published by the Department of Labour. An important aspect of employing PWD in South Africa relates to the promotion of equity in the workplace. This applies not only to PWD but also to other previously disadvantaged individuals and women. Companies employing people in designated groups are awarded points on a Black Economic Empowerment ‘Scorecard’. The Generic BEE Scorecard consists of seven elements against which the company is evaluated, and the element ‘Employment Equity’applies to the employment of PWD: Ownership – 20% Management – 10% Employment Equity – 15% Skills Development – 15% Preferential Procurement – 20% Enterprise Development – 15% Socio Economic Development – 5%.
  21. 21. DEEP 14 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s What does government consider a disability? This can be a confusing area for many people, but is fortunately well-defined in the Act. Impairment may be physical or mental. Physical impairment means a partial or total loss of a bodilyfunctionorpartofthebody.Itincludessensoryimpairmentssuchasbeingdeaf,hearing impaired or visually impaired and any combination of physical or mental impairments. Mental impairment means a clinically recognised condition or illness that affects a person’s thought processes, judgment or emotions. There are many different degrees and levels of impairment. While some impairments may be verysevere,inthatthepersonisunlikelytobeabletoworkproductively,manyPWDhaveonly a lesser impairment that can be easily controlled, corrected or lessened, and this means that they are not substantially limited in the work they could do.
  22. 22. 15 T h e E n a b l i n g E n v i r o n m e n t chapter 1A D i s a b i l i t y C o n f i d e n t C o m p a n y chapter 5 A Disability Confident Company or Employer understands how disability affects every aspect of business – people, markets, communities, suppliers and key stakeholders. It is keen to promote a culture of inclusion and remove barriers for disabled people through adjustments which enable specific individuals to contribute – as employees, customers, partners and valued stakeholders. Commitment from the top is necessary. With the right messaging, this will filter down to all levels of staff in the organisation. It is therefore important for leaders to lead by example. All employees need the right tools and work environment to effectively perform their jobs. Similarly, individuals with disabilities may need workplace adjustments, known as “Reasonable Accommodation”, to maximize the value they can add to their employer. An accommodation can be simple, such as putting blocks under a table’s legs so that a person who uses a wheelchair can roll up to it. It might involve advanced technology, such as installing a screen reader on a computer so that a person who is blind can manage documents. Accommodation may also be procedural, such as altering a work schedule or job assignments. It is important to remember that most workers with a disability will not require significant adjustments. Some workers will not require any adjustments. Employers should not assume that all people with a disability will require adjustments and then use this as the basis for discriminatory decisions. When thinking about accommodations, the focus should not be on the person’s disability, but rather on essential job tasks and the physical functions necessary to complete them. Consider a receptionist who cannot answer the phone because he or she cannot grasp the receiver. A handle could be attached to the receiver to enable him or her to balance it on the hand. Or, the receptionist could use a headset, eliminating the need for grasping altogether.The reason the person can’t grasp the receiver is immaterial. With a simple accommodation, the employee can answer the phone. Accessible workplace environments allow persons with physical disabilities to more easily contribute to their place of employment, thus removing much of the disabling component of their condition.
  23. 23. DEEP 16 E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Because accommodations are for individuals, they are individual in nature. But, by requiring employers and employees to think creatively about how tasks are accomplished, an accommodation can benefit more than a single employee, and thus benefit the business as a whole. Devising accommodations can uncover strategies that help others, regardless of whether they have disabilities. For instance, headsets may help other receptionists better perform their duties and reduce neck strain. Similarly, magnifying glasses at work stations help people with visual disabilities read documents and may also reduce eye strain for others. There are often cases of an accommodation being made for PWD which then develops a universal application for everyone, such as ‘kerb cuts’ which were originally put in place for wheelchairs but now improve the lives of people pushing strollers, prams or shopping carts. An accommodation is thus an investment that promises an immediate return, that is, an investment in a qualified worker who happens to have a disability and is, or could become, a valuable asset to a business. Moreover, accommodations usually are not expensive. For example, in the United States, two-thirds of accommodations cost less than US $500 but benefit the employer on average by US $5 000. The accessibility of a company refers to both the physical environment and to information and communication services. For example, even if a building is not fully accessible to PWD it is still possible to employ a person with a disability. Employing people with a visual disability / a hearing impairment / or someone walking with crutches due to polio, for example, can easily be accommodated. Sometimes only minor changes are required, such as moving furniture in an office or giving a blind person a tactile pointer to use. The real challenge lies not in the physical environment, which is usually easily adjusted, but more in the attitudes of employers and staff to include PWD in their particular work community. An accommodation made for a PWD often benefits the whole company The real challenge is changing the attitudes of staff and employers
  24. 24. 17 R e a s o n a b l e A c c o m m o d a t i o n chapter 6 R easonable Accommodation, which means modifications or alterations to the way a job is normally performed, should make it possible for a suitably qualified person with a disability to perform to the same level as everyone else. The type of reasonable accommodation required would depend on the job and its essential functions, the work environment and the person’s specific impairment. Aspects of reasonable accommodation could include, amongst others: the removal of physical barriers and access to information and technology (equipment and software) workstation modifications adjustments to work schedules adjustment to the nature and duration of the duties of the employee at work, either on a temporary or a permanent basis, and the relocation of some aspects of a job. Reasonable accommodation of PWD actually commences with the recruitment process which should be designed to encourage PWD to apply for positions they are interested in and are suitably qualified for. Interview locations should be accessible, and potential employers should be made aware of the Reasonable Accommodation requirements of a specific disability. The person with a disability should also be able to enjoy equal access to all the benefits and opportunities of employment. For example, all staff must have equal access to promotion opportunities.
  25. 25. 18 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Examples of Reasonable Accommodation Situation: A woman with a severe developmental disability worked in an envelope manufacturingfacilityoperatingamachinethatstackedboxes.Sheneededtostack20boxesat a time, but could not keep a mental count past 10. Solution: Theemployerinstalledapunchcounterandtrainedthewomantoincludepunching inherroutine—tape,stack,punch;tape,stack,punch.Asthewoman’sproductivitysoared,the employerrealizedthatkeepingcountisdifficultformanypeopleanddecidedtoinstallcounters at other machines, improving overall productivity. Cost: R80 Situation: A person who is blind was a switchboard operator for a large building. As such, she needed to know which telephone lines were on hold, in use or ringing. Solution: The employer installed a light probe that emitted a noise signalling which console buttons were blinking and which ones were steadily lit. The console was also modified to audibly differentiate incoming calls from internal calls. Cost: R360 Situation: A clerical worker who stamped paperwork for several hours each day had difficulty pinching and gripping due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Solution: The stamp handles were wrapped in anti-vibration wrap and cut tennis balls were placed on the top to eliminate the need for fine motor pinching and gripping to operate them. Cost: anti-vibration wrap, R120; tennis balls, R25 Situation: A teacher with multiple sclerosis was not able to effectively communicate with students because his speech became soft and slurred when he was fatigued. Solution:Hewasprovidedwithapersonalspeechamplifiersothathewouldnothavetostrain to project his voice and was allowed to schedule his classes to allow periodic rest breaks. Cost: R1 680 Situation: Ameterreaderwithhearinglossneededtobealertedtothesoundofbarkingdogs and other sudden noises that might present dangers while working in city neighbourhoods. Solution: His employer provided him a device that vibrates in response to sudden noises. Cost: R2 400
  26. 26. 19 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 6 Even though the legislative environment has done much to promote the employment of PWD and to encourage a better understanding of the experiences of PWD, there are still all too often situations where PWD may experience prejudice, discrimination and a lack of understanding or tolerance. Attitudes towards individuals with a disability are often based on preconceptions and personal views, rather than in fact or reality. Experience, on the other hand, has shown that PWD are often a source of inspiration to their work colleagues and can serve to enhance productivity and morale. Furthermore, employees with disabilities bring unique experiences and understanding that transform a workplace and enhance products and services. PWD themselves have had to innovate and often have a deeper understanding of people and their society because of having to deal with their own particular challenges. There are many common misconceptions and myths about PWD. Many employers believe that PWD are not sufficiently capable of taking on responsible tasks; that accommodating them in the workplace is always going to be a costly exercise; and that co-workers and colleagues will be put in a difficult situation. These concerns are usually unfounded, and research from the United States shows that 75% of employers of PWD did not have to make any accommodation at all for their employees. Negative attitudes are often caused by a lack of information about PWD
  27. 27. 20 DEEP D i s a b l e d P e r s o n s ’ E m p l o y m e n t E q u i t y P r o g r a m m eDEEP D i s a b l e d P e r s o n s ’ E m p l o y m e n t E q u i t y P r o g r a m m e B ack in 2006, De Beers Mining expressed its commitment to the integration and mainstreaming ofpeoplewithdisabilitiesattheVoorspoedDiamond Mine in the Free State, and to expanding this approach to other work places. In 2007, the Ponahalo De Beers Disabled Persons’ Trust undertook an assessment of the social conditions in the Ngwathe / Moqhaka District Municipalities adjacent to the newly established De Beers Voorspoed Mine. The research showed that people with disabilities are amongst the most marginalised sections of the population, having little or no access to employment or special facilities, and often very limited access to education. Frequently PWD seemed to be regarded by their families as a source of embarrassment, to be kept hidden from the public gaze. Often they were subjected to physical or mental abuse. Where they were able to access disability grants, these were sometimes abused by their families with little benefit to themselves. The Trust recognised the pressing need, and the Disability Employment Equity Programme (DEEP) was established following negotiations with Voorspoed Mine management to make a number of positions available to PWD. This was a new initiative for Voorspoed Mine and there were many questions to be addressed:‘How do we cope with disabled people in our mining environment?’ ‘Will efficiency deficits result?’ ‘How do we deal with interpersonal relationships between able-bodied people and those with disabilities?’ It was indeed fortunate that the Mine management had expressed a principled commitment to employing PWD. The Trust hoped that if Voorspoed Mine could successfully employ PWD this would contribute to challenging the many social myths and prejudices that prevail around PWD in spite of progressive legislation being in place. It would also contribute to addressing some aspects of the skills deficit in the country, where many PWD could potentially be excellent employees but are not given an opportunity, precisely because of the prevailing myths and misinformation. It was a bold step on the part of Voorspoed Mine, but one which has paid off handsomely. Committed employees with fresh skills have been recruited and the Mine has built a positive reputation in the local communities. The Trust has expressed its ongoing commitment to supporting the project and its values, and it is hoped that incremental gains will begin to make a difference at both provincial and national level with regard to employment of PWD.
  28. 28. 21 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 7 The preliminary step was to conceptualise the approach to the recruitment and employment process, and to approach potential partners who would each bring a different skill set and experience to this process. At that point, the Voorspoed Mine had just been commissioned and had embarked on recruiting its workforce. Mine management was very open to ring fencing a number of job positions for PWD. Such an undertaking can be challenging for a company whose business focus is not recruitment. An agreement was reached with the Mine that they would provide the jobs and some human resources support to the Project. The Thabo Mbeki Development Trust for the Disabled (TMDT), which facilitates skills development and employment for persons with disabilities, was invited to join the Project as a partner, bringing in community outreach capacity, service provision from specialists in the disability sector, and co-ordination capacity. The local community-based partner, Tumahole Self-Help Association of People with Disabilities (TSHAD), went out to find PWD from local communities with an interest in work opportunities. The Free State-based Association for Persons with Disabilities (APD), came on board to provide technical inputs for the Project. The five partners each played a critical role in the success of the process
  29. 29. 22 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s With a broad-based partnership in place the following process was agreed: Phase Description Role-players 1. Getting buy-in from the employer Discussion with / Presentation to senior management. Buy-in of middle management, including human resources and relevant departments Senior management Disability organisations ABACUS Recruitment 2. Identify available job opportunities Make available job description and all requirements and criteria HR department 3. Identify potential applicants Advertise in press / PWD websites Access existing databases of PWD candidates (Free State: TSHAD database) HR Dept/ TSHAD ABACUS Employment Solutions: www.disabilityemployment.co.za 4. Pre-screening/ Matching process Narrowing down the list of available recruitees to a list of viable candidates who match with job description criteria and requirements ABACUS HR Dept Disability service provider 5. Assessment and other tests As per HR policy of company / agency. Liaison with PWD candidates to ensure specific needs during this phase are met Disability support organisations ABACUS Own HR dept 6. The Interview Process As per HR policy of company / agency. Liaison with PWD candidates to ensure specific needs during this phase are met Disability support organisations ABACUS Own HR dept 7. Appointment As per HR policy / procedures of company / agency Own HR dept 8. Reasonable Accommodation Engagement with appointees to determine exact nature of requirements and procurement follow up where needed Disability support organisations ABACUS Own HR dept 9. Integration of workforce Ensure proper integration into work environment / work team. Develop appropriate attitudes on part of able bodied colleagues: through, for example, disability sensitisation workshops Disability support organisations ABACUS Own HR dept
  30. 30. 23 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 7 It was critical to have the support of not only the management team but also from all the others in the mine community, including middle management. How would it be possible to get the whole team to buy into a new and somewhat different concept? The senior mine management had already made a strong commitment and this was key to promoting a positive environment for the Project. In fact, it would be fair to say that senior management holds the key to success in such an undertaking as they constitute the leadership from whom the mine community takes its lead... At the middle management level, disability awareness workshops were conducted, and information was circulated widely. The APD ran a disability sensitisation workshop for existing Voorspoed employees as a first step towards the integration process. This helped to open doors for questions, concerns and suggestions, particularly from the HR department which was central to the recruitment process. Here, the HR department worked closely with the service provider, Association of People with Disabilities (APD), who assisted in assessing the job requirements and the potential need for Reasonable Accommodation. The parties also agreed to the recruitment processes. It had to be acknowledged that not every available position on the Mine could be offered to PWD, given the stringent safety requirements prevailing. But with minor modifications many positions could be included in the process. Finding potential applicants was a key aspect of the process and required a proactive and innovative search. With the assistance of the Tumahole Self-Help Association of People with Disabilities (TSHAD) and the Free State branch of APD, the Trust recruited and screened possible job seekers for the positions identified. TSHAD ran an extensive outreach campaign to recruit possible job seekers, which included distribution of posters and pamphlets at disability grant pay points; door-to- door flyer distribution in designated townships; liaising with disability organisations and networks in the Northern Free State; addressing church meetings; and the use of both local press and community and commercial radio stations. TSHAD established a database of candidates as a permanent resource for recruitment purposes. TSHAD, working with APD, assessed incoming CVs for appropriate skills and experience and an initial screening of candidates was completed. APD also checked that materials to be used for HR assessments were disability-sensitive.The CVs were submitted to the mine management for consideration and a list of qualifying candidates was agreed upon. Senior management must lead the way, sharing information and addressing staff concerns Partners helped to expand the search for good candidates
  31. 31. 24 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Equal Opportunity, No Favours Employing PWD should not be viewed as an act of charity or part of the company’s social responsibility programme. Like any other candidates for employment, PWD were considered for the value that they would add to the company as employees. In essence, this is anexchange betweenconsentingparties–employerandemployee–andhastobetreatedassuchthroughout. This point is echoed by PWD themselves, who emphasise that they do not want to be pitied or patronised, but considered as equals with the usual human differences that everyone has. The key here is to focus on the ability rather than the dis-ability of the person. For the HR practitioners, it was important to keep strictly to the agreed processes: assessing PWD on exactly the same indicators as able-bodied applicants. While there may have been some questions on whether impairments would negatively affect the ability of applicants to do the job, this could not be allowed to influence the process in any way. It was important, therefore, for the interviewing panel to keep in mind that disabilities would be addressed through the Reasonable Accommodation process. The objective was always to ensure that new employees, whatever their background, would add value if they joined the Voorspoed family. The selected candidates participated in a workshop run by the APD to prepare them for the job interview experience. The candidates then participated in a DBCM HR assessment test to determine their eligibility for employment. It was at this stage of the process that some weaknesses were identified in the candidates, such as poor literacy or numeracy skills. Following additional psychometric tests, a grouping of very strong candidates were selected for interviews. The Mine then conducted a medical examination and held extensive and detailed discussions with each applicant regarding their particular disability. The Mine concluded that medical assessments should be undertaken early in the process as this would help to identify any challenge or concern that the applicants had not openly expressed. This would also facilitate, where necessary, additional discussions with other related professionals, such as occupational health advisors. The applicants themselves were somewhat apprehensive about this new challenge. Having experienced discrimination previously, it is understandable that they were nervous about the processes and outcomes. Many PWD have grown up in an environment of stigma and discrimination where disability may have been viewed as a curse on the family, or at the very least, seen as a burden inasmuch as the disabled family member was unlikely to contribute to household needs. These personal concerns had to be overcome andTSHAD was instrumental in working with applicants to build confidence and self-esteem, practice interviewing techniques and simply offer practical support, such as ensuring that adequate transport and refreshments were available on interview days. Candidates took part in workshops, assessments, and medical screenings TSHAD practiced interviewing techniques, and provided practical and moral support to the candidates New employees would add value to the Voorspoed family
  32. 32. 25 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 7 Once an employee with a disability is a part of the team, employers may need some support to ensure a seamless and positive integration. Employers and colleagues may be concerned that they will say the wrong thing, ask an inappropriate question, or unintentionally offend an applicant or colleague with a disability. There are many resources available to help all the people involved (see Appendix 2: Resources). Itisimportanttoallowtheprocessenoughtime,bothforrecruitingandforintroduction and integration into the existing work force. At Voorspoed Mine, the HR manager ensured that all staff were given the opportunity to discuss in confidence concerns that they had or specific challenges that they were experiencing in their interactions with the new staff members. It is important to note that having the commitment of the senior management made a significant difference as it sent out a strong and positive message to all staff. The initial response to incoming employees with disabilities depended to an extent on the individuals themselves, in exactly the same way as would be the case with any new employee. However, it was noted that work colleagues sometimes expected PWD to be perfect, never complaining or moody, which is not a realistic expectation of any work colleague. Some PWD felt that there was an unspoken expectation that PWD had to be grateful for being employed, and had to try a lot harder than their colleagues to be recognised. However, this is not much different from the early experiences of women and people of colour: groups that have also had to fight hard through recent decades to have their rights recognised. The Reasonable Accommodation process at Voorspoed Mine was initiated with a Universal Access Audit undertaken by APD. This took place during the first phase of the Project. Here, APD assessed the workplace environment and made recommendations to ensure that the basic physical conditions for PWD would be appropriate. Fortunately, at this point the Mine itself was in the process of construction, which made it easier to implement the recommendations. ReasonableAccommodationalsoneedstobebuiltintotheactualrecruitmentprocess, which should be designed to encourage PWD to apply for positions they are interested in and suitably qualified for. Interview locations should be accessible, and potential employees should make employees aware of the Reasonable Accommodation requirements of a specific disability. Working on a mine is usually a challenging experience, as it is not an easy work environment. At Voorspoed there were understandable concerns about the extent to which PWD may or may not cope. These concerns were soon set aside as the new employees quickly familiarised themselves with their jobs as well as the all- important safety requirements, and got to know their colleagues on the Mine. The new employees soon realised that they were up to their tasks and responsibilities, and did not feel the need to prove themselves, since the job fit was clearly there. As employees they give themselves 100% to their jobs and are viewed as equals by their colleagues and by management. Allow enough time for the recruiting process and for integration with existing staff members A Universal Access Audit was done at the Voorspoed Mine PWD were soon accepted in their new roles, and are viewed as equals
  33. 33. 26 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Sufficient time needs to be allocated to the interview team to enable them to ask pertinent questions and thus avoid making assumptions of any kind. Additional interview time also allows the applicants to present themselves and their experiences in their own way. Once the initial applicants have been identified, it is important to have a very clear understanding of the different types of disability involved and their respective limits and possibilities. The best way to find this out is to ask detailed questions and conduct thorough assessments. Moreover, PWD have many interesting and innovative ways of getting around their disabilities in order to get things done. Therefore, focusing on what people can, rather than what they cannot, do is very helpful. If there is any resistance from line managers, who feel that managing PWD will add to their workload, this can be overcome by discussions with the HR Manager, who should be available to assist in smoothing out the small problems as they arise. In this regard, at Voorspoed it was suggested that line managers would be assessed on this aspect of their work, and where a manager makes a concerted effort to assimilate PWD into the team, this would be recognised. At Voorspoed, there was a general recognition that employing PWD at the Mine had added immensely to the mining ‘community’. PWD were placed in a range of departments, from diamond sorting, to public and corporate affairs, to maintenance. In every instance, they had adapted quickly, had been assimilated easily into their teams, and were seen to add value. Even so, the Voorspoed experience has shown that if there are some concerns along the way, these have to be addressed transparently and sensitively. An unexpected lesson emerged when it was realized that in fact the PWD candidates had greater versatility than initially anticipated. They themselves had fairly limited expectations of the kinds of jobs they might be offered – these being mostly administrative in nature – but once they commenced with the recruitment and interviewingprocess,otherpreviouslyunrecognisedskillswereidentified.Forexample, one female PWD was employed in the water treatment plant as a technician and another female PWD joined the high security diamond sorting rooms. At all times, the guiding factor was whether the candidates could do the job to the standard required. In this respect, the PWD have more than met Voorspoed’s expectations.
  34. 34. 27 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 7 It is useful to make changes in small incremental steps that people can adjust to in their own time, rather than imposing big changes in one leap. However, it is important to remember that the quality of work should not be compromised. PWD want to know that they are adding value and contributing to a positive bottom line. It is hoped that the experiences of employing PWD at De Beers Voorspoed Mine will be a beacon of hope and a source of encouragement for other employers to emulate in their search for the right person for the job – whether abled or disabled. The Voorspoed Mine experience was widely acknowledged when the Ponahalo De Beers Disabled Person’sTrust andVoorspoed Mine won the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Company Partnership Award in 2008 on the basis of their innovative work in promoting the employment of people with disabilities atVoorspoed Mine. Ponahalo De Beers Trust had realised that its link to a huge corporation such as De Beers Consolidated Mines placed it in a unique position to leverage the capacity, influence, supply needs and resource base of the parent partner to influence local community development processesinapositiveway. Asanewmine,Voorspoedwaswell-placedtoimplementinnovative employment practices from the outset. Throughthe‘setaside’of20jobsforpeoplewithdisabilitiesthatwasnegotiatedwithVoerspoed Mine, the Disabled Persons Employment Equity Programme (DEEP) has served as an important catalystforotherlargerprojectsthatcanalsodrawonitsflexibleandinnovativeapproach,and begin to promote changes in the lives of people with disabilities living in the rural towns of Northern Free State, and elsewhere. Community impact and sustainability are important considerations, and it is believed that once people with disabilities and their families experience the benefits of employment, there will be a shift away from grant dependency and the culture of disempowerment that people with disabilities have so often been subjected to. PWD, as with any other citizens, should have the hope of making an economic contribution to the country and to their families and be empowered to demand a life of dignity and respect in their wider community. More specifically, for the people of theVoorspoed Mine community, there is an understanding thatanetworkofcommunity-basedorganisationshasbeenestablished,runbydisabledpeople themselves, and which will begin to influence the lives of PWD everywhere in a positive and meaningful way.
  35. 35. 28 DEEP D i s a b l e d P e r s o n s ’ E m p l o y m e n t E q u i t y P r o g r a m m eDEEP D i s a b l e d P e r s o n s ’ E m p l o y m e n t E q u i t y P r o g r a m m e Listed below are some of the most common conditions of disability that people around the world experience. A mood disorder is where the emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances. Types of mood disorders include depression, unipolar and bipolar disorder. Spina Bifida is a malformation of the spinal cord. The extent to which someone is affected can vary, but it can be a very crippling disability. Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of non-progressive, non-contagious diseases that cause physical disability in human development. There is no known cure. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterised by recurrent unprovoked seizures, which are a result of abnormal or excessive neuron activity in the brain. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects many people, and is usually experienced as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling. Dyslexia occurs at all levels of intelligence. Speech Differences such as stuttering are not usually seen as a serious disability and are not connected in any way to level of intelligence. Poliomyelitis, polio or infantile paralysis is an acute viral disease. Spinal polio is the most common result of the viral invasion of the motor neurons. People who have had polio may use a crutch or they may be in a wheelchair as the degree of disability varies. Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects motor skills and speech. Early signs and symptoms may sometimes be dismissed as the effects of normal ageing.
  36. 36. 29 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 8 Wheelchair Users can be any age and have a range of disabilities. Wheelchairs are used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. Being Sight Impaired involves vision loss that results in a serious limitation of visual capability through disease, trauma, or a congenital or degenerative condition that cannot be corrected. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a psychiatric disorder manifested in a variety of forms, most commonly characterized by the person continuously repeating a particular task. Dementia is the steady progressive decline in cognitive functions due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from the normal human aging process. Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. The cause is unknown. It may be an auto-immune disease, which is when the body attacks itself. Asthma is a chronic condition involving the respiratory system in which the airway occasionally constricts or becomes inflamed, and can seriously impact on breathing. People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often described as having social skills deficits, a reluctance to listen, or experience difficulty understanding social behaviour. Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma or surgery. A prosthesis is an artificial extension that replaces a missing limb. A Cleft Lip/Palate is a congenital deformity as a result of a failure in facial development during pregnancy. It can often be corrected through early surgery. Meuniere’s Disease disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is one of the most common neuromuscular diseases occurring worldwide today and can cause extensive paralysis. Hearing Impairment means a full or partial decrease in the ability to detect or understand sounds. Hearing loss can be inherited. Club Foot or Feet is a common birth defect, occurring in about one in every 1,000 births. Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness. A person with schizophrenia may show symptoms like disorganized thinking, hallucinations, and delusions. Psoriasis is a disease which affects the skin and joints, and causes red scaly patches on the skin.
  37. 37. 30 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s The Case for Employing People with Disabilities Disability Awareness for Management & Employees Tel: 021 872 1101 / Cell: 083 289 1199 disabilitysolutions@gmail.com www@disabilitysolutions.co.za Tel: 012 345 9200 / 082 416 0540 heloise@abacus.co.za www.abacus.co.za National Office: 031 767 0348 Gauteng Offices: 012 320 2572 / 011 782 9063 secretary@qagn.co.za / quadgs@icon.co.za www.qasa.co.za A useful and informative website which provides information on the rights of PWD, practical information for employers and links to other sites. www.napsa.co.za This makes available all disability-related information in all official South African languages (South African legislation, up-to-date statistics, use of special equipment, access-free advice, health and rehabilitation issues, medical services and advice, international links) Tel: 012 309 4000 / Fax 012 320 2059 http://www.labour.gov.za/documents Email: webmaster@labour.gov.za For all legislation relating to employment of PWD. enquiries@efd.org.uk www.efd.org.uk
  38. 38. 31 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 8 http://www.business.gov/business-law/employment/hiring/people-with-disabilities. html www.disability.gov Recruiting for Employment Tel: 012 3459200 / 082 416 0540 heloise@abacus.co.za www.abacus.co.za Tel: 012 325 6567 / 012 325 6585 emplsol@intekom.co.za www.disabilityemployment.co.za Tel: 011 646 8331 http://www.apdjhb.co.za/skyward.htm Database of PWD for the Northern Free State area Tel: 056 817 2244 thembabiko@gmail.com Assessing Physical Environment / Infrastructure for Disability Access Solutions www.napsa.co.za Sophisticated communication facilities (via email, voice, webcams); novel new technology solutions to enable disabled persons to overcome specific interaction challenges, such as conversion from text to speech (TTS) and speech recognition (supporting blind users), in South African languages; conversion from text to South African Sign Language and Sign Language recognition (to assist deaf users); and capturing instructions between a physically disabled person and an electronic device.
  39. 39. 32 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Tel: 011 646 8331/4 info@apdjhb.co.za www.apdjhb.co.za Tel: 021 872 1101 / Cell: 083 289 1199 disabilitysolutions@gmail.com www@disabilitysolutions.co.za www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/faq/faq.html Access to approximately 500 action plans on implementing a disability-friendly work place. Reasonable Accommodation Assistive Devices Tel: 011 726 4481 www.mbekitrust.co.za thulani@mbekitrust.co.za / moira@mbekitrust.co.za Tel: 021 872 1101 / Cell: 083 289 1199 disabilitysolutions@gmail.com www@disabilitysolutions.co.za www.napsa.co.za Providing free online training material for interactive training on the use of disability products, such as wheelchairs and bath lifting devices.
  40. 40. 33 S o m e B a c k g r o u n d I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t D i s a b i l i t y chapter 8 Integration of Disabled Employees into Workplace Disability Sensitisation www.napsa.co.za Providing free online training material, both domain-specific (interactive training on disability products, such as wheelchairs, bath lifting devices, and similar) and ICT- related (effective usage of ICT and job creation opportunities in the ICT sector). Tel: 011 646 8331/4 info@apdjhb.co.za www.apdjhb.co.za Tel: 021 872 1101 / Cell: 083 289 1199 disabilitysolutions@gmail.com www@disabilitysolutions.co.za Support for Developing Further as a Disability Confident Company Tel: 021 872 1101 / Cell: 083 289 1199 disabilitysolutions@gmail.com www@disabilitysolutions.co.za
  41. 41. 34 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s
  42. 42. The Ponahalo De Beers Trusts (PDT) were set up in 2006 as a component of the BEE transaction between De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) and Ponahalo Capital. There are three trusts dealing with community, women, and disability respectively. The Trusts support local economic development in communities located in the vicinity of DBCM mines. In 2007, the Ponahalo De Beers Disabled Persons’ Trust initiated a Programme to support the employment of PWD, starting with Voorspoed Mine in the Free State. The Programme is known as DEEP (Disabled Persons Employment Equity Programme) The success of the Voorspoed initiative led to the production of a DVD (available on request) for the purposes of demonstrating both the process and the benefits of embarking on such a challenge. Already the Programme has generated much interest amongst employers in the Fezile Dabi municipal area (Northern Free State) and is now reaching out to companies across South Africa. PDT is currently working with local disability organizations in Fezile Dabi who have already experienced the positive effects of the DEEP initiative. In addition to inspiring young people with disabilities to greater achievements in their schooling and further education, DEEP has begun to generate the belief amongst people with disabilities that they can indeed make an important contribution to society. The Ponahalo De Beers Trusts and the DEEP initiative are managed by Isibuko Sempilo Consultancy email: mfavis@global.co.za cell: 082 768-6875
  43. 43. 36 DEEP E m p l o y i n g P e o p l e W i t h D i s a b i l i t i e s : A B r i e f G u i d e f o r E m p l o y e r s Ponahalo De Beers Trusts Cornerstone Corner Diamond Drive and Crownwood Rd Theta Johannesburg

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