Progression's Disability Conference Unpacks Reasonable Accommodation

April 2016

Continuing the success of 2015’s Disability Conference, Progression is bringing its 5th Annual Disability Conference for the first time to Cape Town, at the Protea Fire & Ice! Hotel on Thursday 9 June 2016.

The programme, which will run over one day, aims to unpack what reasonable accommodation is, its background in relation to legislation and disability in the workplace, what technology is available to provide solutions to reasonable accommodation and will explore the accessibility of our physical environments.

What is Reasonable Accommodation?
In South Africa, reasonable accommodation is ensured through the Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998. The concept of reasonable accommodation, as defined in the Employment Equity Act, is designed to provide a fair, non-judgemental, accessible mechanism to explore the possibilities which exist within a business, with the view on minimising the barriers and focussing on the skills and value of individuals.

“Although reasonable accommodation is supported through legislation, many workplaces remain largely inaccessible for persons with disabilities,” comments Tarryn Mason, General Manager at Progression and host of this year’s event. “This is often as a result of misconceptions or lack of understanding around the scope and methods of implementing reasonable accommodation within the workplace.”

Take the First Step
Employing people with disabilities in the workplace is only the first step to developing a diverse workforce. Company policies, procedures and workplace environments need to reflect the accessibility of an organisation. It is this access that ensures the full participation of all individuals in an organisation.  

Speakers at this year’s Disability Conference will include Julia Wood, Organisational Development Manager at Progression; Keshika Naidoo, registered Occupational Therapist; Hiten Bawa, Architect and Universal Design Consultant; Danny Havenga, director of Microlink PC South Africa and Justene Smith, Disability Specialist. Each speaker will share their own expertise as they guide delegates through the social context of reasonable accommodation, technology, software adaptations and exploring the limitations and abilities of the individuals involved.

Highlights of the Disability Conference will include a demonstration of the technologies and software available to reasonably accommodate a variety of different disabilities. Delegates will also be guided through the process of conducting an environmental accessibility audit which observes potential barriers to accessibility within the workplace. “A definite highlight of last year’s Disability Conference was the ‘build your own reasonable accommodation tool’. We have included the same activity this year as it really offers delegates an opportunity to explore the various considerations that need to be given to disability and how each person may experience their disability differently,” says Tarryn.

Join the Discussion
The programme for the Disability Conference will be presented in a talk-show format which will encourage conversations between speakers and audiences. The participation of HR and EE Managers, Transformation Specialists, Health & Wellness Practioners and CEO’s is encouraged.

“Reasonable accommodation is at the forefront of discussion when it comes to accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. Great strides have been taken at a global level to ensure that all people can participate within our workplaces and societies,” comments Tarryn. “We look forward to the conversations that will take place at this year’s Disability Conference that will highlight the progress that is being made, as well as the challenges still being faced”.

Progression would like to acknowledge the generous support of the various partners involved in this year’s event including Studio Bawa, Microlink PC South Africa, HR Works and TFM Magazine.

For more information on the conference, contact Samantha de Boer sam@progression.co.za

Open/View: Disability Conference 2016 Programme

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