Of every one thousand people living in South Africa (and our population is over 55.91 million), 25 have an IQ between 50 and 80. Yet, we know very little about Intellectual Disability. The month of March is dedicated to bringing awareness to Intellectual Disability, a subject often plagued by stereotypes, misconception and misunderstanding.
Justene Smith, Disability expert at Progression, unpacks Intellectual Disability, common stereotypes surrounding this topic and the important role of Early Childhood Development.
What is Intellectual Disability?
Intellectual Disability is characterised by a low IQ level, significant limitations in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) as well as the ability to adapt or relate to the surrounding world to the same extent as others. It is usually diagnosed before the age of 18 and is lifelong.
There are various causes of Intelle...
Across the country a number of young adults waited eagerly for their matric final results, which were released on the 4th of January for the IEB schools and the 6th of January for the Government-regulated curriculum system. Many young people are now considering their next steps, their work and study options. Sadly, only a handful of youth with disabilities will be doing the same thing, according to Progression’s CEO, Beth Cook.
This is because only an estimated 5% of youth with disabilities matriculate every year, according to research conducted by Progression.
“It is important to understand that the employable number within the particular target group of persons with disabilities in general constitutes only 10% of the population of South Africa and that the large majority of this very small pool of people have no work experience, limited education, no matric qualification an...
While the festive season is meant to be a period of relaxation, when enjoying time with family and friends and celebrating the end of another year are high on the agenda, many people find it particularly stressful.
Justene Smith, disability expert at Progression, says while dealing with the festive season can be stressful for the man-on-the-street, it can be life-threatening for persons with mental health disabilities. “The festivities and the pressure and expectations that accompany Christmas and the holiday season can result in relapses and lead to elevated levels of stress, which can have serious repercussions,” says Smith.
Smith provides a few tips to help persons with mental disabilities cope better in December and January.
Planning is key
Smith says planning for the holidays is the first and most important step to ensure mental health during the festive season. Smith ...
Theme for Disability Rights Awareness Month 2017: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.
Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM) takes place annually from the 3rd of November to the 3rd of December. The 3rd of December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, also celebrated as National Disability Rights Awareness Day.
This month is an important and exciting one for Progression as it allows us to spread awareness and educate society around disability. In addition, it provides us with the opportunity to drive the inclusion and advancement of persons with disabilities, both in the corporate world and society. DRAM aims to promote an understanding of disability, the rights of persons with disabilities as well as the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of ...
The critical skills gap that exists in South Africa is a growing concern for many industries. One would assume, to combat this concerning lack of critical skills, employers would be investing more in learning and development (L&D). However, according to the annual Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, the opposite is true.
According to the report, which delves into the top human capital trends for South Africa, and other countries around the world, only 28% of South African employers say they’re helping employees build skills and roughly 30% of companies say they do not have clear career paths within their organisation.
This is a stark contrast to the statistics of other countries. The report indicates that globally, 83% of executives have identified L&D as crucial. In response to this, many organisations have started to help employees with continuous L&D to overcome the crit...
The painful and tragic death of kwaito artist Anthony Motaung, popularly known as Fatty Boom Boom or Tsekeleke, has highlighted the importance of gaining a greater understanding of Diabetes and its legislative status in South Africa.
Some 7% of South African adults aged between 21 and 79 (3.85 million people) have Diabetes. World statistics are just as concerning. According to the World Health Organisation, four times as many people have Type II Diabetes today compared to 36 years ago. In 1980, 108 million people were diagnosed with Diabetes worldwide. By 2014, the figure increased to a staggering 422 million. Globally, about 1.5 million people died as a direct result of Diabetes in 2012.
Extensive research has been conducted into Diabetes and there is considerable information about the medical aspect of this condition, however, not much has been said from a legislative standpoint. D...
The month of July is Psychosocial Disability Awareness Month in South Africa, an important and momentous one as it highlights an all too often shunned and stigmatised topic: mental illness.
According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), approximately one in five people will, or do, suffer from a mental illness including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. With the number of people being diagnosed with a mental illness increasing annually, the importance of creating a deeper understanding and acceptance of this subject is paramount.
Unfortunately, in many workplaces employees choose not to disclose, fearing the stigma and shame that is often associated with these conditions. Furthermore, employers may choose to avoid addressing and discussing mental health due to concerns around the consequences or perceived costs th...
June is a special month for our country as we celebrate 66% of South Africa's population, the youth. As a big part of the population, young people are at the heart of the future of South Africa. While South Africa’s history was driven by young people through the Soweto Uprising in 1976, more recently young people are facing many challenges in modern day society.
Unemployment and poor education are well known challenges many youths of today are faced with. However, this Youth Month I would like to bring awareness to another, lesser-known, challenge and problem plaguing the youth of South Africa - child abandonment and neglect.
According to a fact sheet titled “Child Abandonment Research in South Africa” compiled by Dee Blackie, there were 18.5 million children (aged 0 to 17 years) in South Africa as of May 2014. Of this figure, 4.5 million children live with neither their moth...
Disability Equity Audits can be better understood as ‘disclosure campaigns’ and have been implemented by Progression since the business started in 2002.
Through our in-the-field experience, Progression has found that not all staff members disclose their disabilities to HR personnel. There are various reasons for this, the main being a lack of knowledge as to what may be classified as a disability. All too often, staff are unaware that their condition falls within the definition of disability. In addition, employees are unsure as to whether the business is prepared to manage, or capable of handling, the disclosure, as well as how they will be treated during and after the disclosure process.
In short, a Disability Equity Audit aims to increase employees’ understanding of disability. In addition, it aims to create awareness of the organisation’s disability disclosure proce...
It is extremely unsettling to know that 50.9% of South Africa’s youth are unemployed.
It is therefore evident that more focus needs to be placed on how we can assist the youth in entering the job market without a formal tertiary qualification in order to contribute positively to the country's economy.
The job market is a competitive one, with the requirements for gaining first time employment becoming more out of reach for many young South Africans, especially for people with disabilities (PWD). A tertiary qualification and experience seem to be essential and appear on many employers’ list of requirements.
Many dream of one day attaining a tertiary qualification however for most of South Africa’s youth, it remains just that - a dream. Due to the lack of funds, amongst other reasons, for many young South Africans a secondary, or even a primary education, is unobtainable, nev...