From left to right: Dr Rhoda Kadalie (Impumelelo) and Dr Diane Bell (USB-ED)Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre
and USB-Executive Development (USB-ED)
recently hosted a Disability Colloquium on the USB campus to bring together nine successful models of excellence showcasing social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, job creation, mental and physical health-care, education and income generation.
These were all Impumelelo award winners exhibiting high quality policy implementation and service levels for South Africa’s disabled.
Dr Rhoda Kadalie, director of Impumelelo, said the intention of the Colloquium was to argue for the visible inclusion of the disabled into the formal and informal economy through job creation, education, and demands for high quality health care services for the visually and the hearing impaired.
The projects that presented were Oasis Association by Gail Bester, Sparrow Schools by Annelay Tyler, Association for the Disabled (Port Elizabeth) by Brian Bezuidenhout, Carel Du Toit by Tersia De Kock, Friends of Red Cross Hospital by David Stephens, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities By Therina Wentzel, Cape Mental Health by Carol Bosch, Shonaquip by Shona McDonald, and St Joseph’s Home by Thea Patterson.
For each session there was a discussant but the Colloquium was opened by a plenary session addressed by Prof Jennifer Jelsma (UCT) on “The Socio-Economic Challenges Facing People with Disabilities”. Her findings based on fieldwork in the urban and rural context, revealed rather counter-intuitive results that the disabled perceive themselves to be worse off in the urban contexts in terms of transport, social welfare and income to their rural counterparts, whose lives have been drastically enhanced by the disability grant. Granted, her sample was small, but her research did suggest that much more needs to be done on a bigger scale to verify her initial findings.
The other discussants were Prof Lana Van Niekerk and Prof Leslie Swartz from Stellenbosch University, and Dr Brian Watermeyer from University of Cape Town.
Including Impumelelo and USB staff, around 60 people attended the colloquium.
Dr Diane Bell, Academic Director at USB-ED, announced in her welcome to guests that USB-ED will be launching our new leadership development programme in May this year entitled Disability and Inclusiveness: The Business Case.
"There is a huge need in this country for a programme such as this which aims to promote the rights of people with disabilities to equal access to employment opportunities in the public, private and non-profit sectors."