Code of Good Practice on the Integration of Employment Equity into Human: Part 8

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The Code now turns to the question of the employment of people with disabilities. All people of all races and both genders who are disabled in terms of the Act fall under the designated group.

On the Dept of Labour website, you will find a document entitled "Technical Assistance Guidelines on the Employment of People with disabilities."

It is essential that you download this approximately 60-page document and rad it in conjunction with this Code of Good Practice.

The Technical Assistance Guidelines (TAG) you with firstly a good definition of what is "disability."

 

This is described as follows :

 

"1.3.1.1 People first

People with disabilities are not conditions or diseases. They are individual human beings. For example, a person is not an epileptic or a victim of AIDS but rather a person who has epilepsy or a person who has AIDS. First and foremost they are people who may in addition have one or more disabling conditions. Hence, they prefer to be referred to in the media, such as in newspapers or on television, as people with disabilities.

 

1.3.1.2 Distinction between disability and handicap

A disability is a condition caused by an accident, trauma, genetics or a disease which may limit a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech, intellectual or emotional functioning. Some people with disabilities have one or more disabilities. A handicap is a physical or attitudinal constraint/barrier that is imposed upon a person, regardless of whether that person has a disability. Some dictionaries define handicap as "to put at a disadvantage".

Some people with disabilities use wheelchairs. Stairs, narrow doorways and curbs are handicaps imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. Many people who are blind use Braille to read and they may also use voice recognition software on a computer or even tapes to listen to what others read in printed media. Not having the facility to use one or more of these to accommodate an employee constitutes a handicap.

Persons with intellectual disabilities may learn vocational skills through observation, role-play and breaking a complex job down into small steps, which can be mastered, one or more at a time. Insisting that all employees learn the same way, through printed material or formal classroom training, may be a handicap for such people with disabilities.

People who are deaf communicate effectively through sign language. The lack of trained interpreters when needed to translate between spoken languages and the deaf is a handicap.3

 

5. Definition of people with disabilities 

"People who have a long-term or recurring physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their prospects of entry into, or advancement in, employment." 

The rest of this document you must study for yourself.

The employer is required to make "reasonable accommodation" for the needs of applicants with disabilities.

It should be noted that employers must not discriminate against any person on grounds of disability, and especially in cases of HIV/AIDS.

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