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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media Statement: Launch of Disability Toolkit: Disability Quick Reference Guide

23 May 2017

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC or Commission) recognises that people with disabilities can make up a significant portion of South Africa’s productive workforce – if barriers preventing them from actively participating in employment are identified and removed.
The SAHRC is also committed to ensuring the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. We believe that it is a right for persons with disabilities to have employment opportunities, enjoy access to personal and career development and be allowed, without discrimination and with dignity, to participate in, and contribute to South Africa’s economic development.

The challenges impacting persons with disabilities in South African employment are more complex and challenging than in most other countries; because often, before we give attention to disability, we have to prioritise race and gender and skills shortages – and we forget that disability spans all levels, all categories, all races and all genders. And while a dedicated and focused approach is needed to position disability as a key priority, what is also needed is a mainstreaming approach, for disability to be considered in all aspects of our employment; not as an add-on, but as an integrated component of the diversity that makes up our workplaces.

To this end, the Commission has revised the 2015 Toolkit and Monitoring Framework and developed a Disability Quick Reference Guide and monitoring framework, which is intended to be used in conjunction with the Toolkit, Promoting the Right to Work of Persons with Disabilities.  The 2015 Toolkit brought together a large body of information, guidelines, legislation and links to best practices and resources. Additionally, the monitoring framework that accompanied this Toolkit served as an easy to use and self-implementable instrument for employers to evaluate their own progress. The information provided aligns to South Africa’s local and international obligations that are aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is fully implemented.

The revision of the 2015 toolkit comes as a result of a pilot testing process undertaken by the Commission during 2016 where we tested these resources and in doing so, realised that there is much work that is still to be done. The Commission identified additional employer needs and realised that people with disabilities also need access to information and support.

The SAHRC has worked with a small team of dedicated employers and research specialists to develop this quick reference resource guide to assist employers to harness the potential of their diverse workforces and to equip employers with the knowledge and tools to make South Africa’s workplaces more accessible, more inclusive and more productive for people with disabilities.

The Commission has now, with the 2016 toolkit, provided easy to navigate and practical advice about disability and employment. The information provided is applicable to employers of all sizes and across all sectors. The Commission has also provided links to a rich repository of resources available on the worldwide web.

The Disability Quick Reference Guide will be launched by the Commission, on the 25th of May 2017, at our head offices at Braampark, in Braamfontein.  The SAHRC hereby urges employers to make concerted efforts to improve their workplace cultures and physical environments so as to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities, and meet employment equity targets. This will not only enable such individuals to make meaningful contributions to their jobs, but may benefit employers with committed productive employees who want to share in the dignity of work, to work.

The Disability Quick Reference Guide, is available here for downloading.

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For more information contact:
Allan Tumbo

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cell: 082 792 1325



The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

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