Africa Mar 17, 2017
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: Every year March is commemorated as Intellectual Disability Awareness Month, and this year the South African Federation for Mental Health is focusing on creating awareness around the right that persons with intellectual disabilities have to access employment opportunities.
People with intellectual disability are often marginalised and excluded from various aspects of life due to the perception that they are unable to contribute or play a meaningful role due to their disability. However, with the correct support and training there are people with intellectual disabilities who can be empowered to enter the open labour market.
The South Africa Federation For Mental Health (SAFMH) has created an empowerment tool called the Right to Employment DVD, focusing on empowering persons with mental disabilities (including those with intellectual disabilities) to access employment opportunities. Although copies of the DVDS will be distributed to partners, SAFMH has decided to upload the educational videos to YouTube so that they can be accessed by anyone who needs to make use of them.
The DVD and videos are divided into two sections:
Section 1 is focused on persons with mental disabilities who want to find employment. The video includes information such as practical tips on how to create a CV, how to prepare for a job interview, what reasonable accommodation is and what labour laws exist in South Africa that protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
Section 2 is focused on prospective employers of persons with mental disabilities. The video aims to educate companies and organisations about what is meant by mental disability, what the various benefits are of employing persons with disabilities, what can be expected of companies with regards to reasonable accommodation, and what labour laws protect persons with disabilities in South Africa.
It is our hope that tools such as the Right to Employment education resources will empower persons with intellectual disabilities to access employment opportunities, as well as help to combat the stigma and discrimination that people with intellectual disability often face.