Economic opportunities for people living with disabilities

Monday, November 4, 2019

Government says it intends to pay particular attention to the economic liberation of persons with disabilities. 

This commitment follows the launch of Disability Rights Awareness Month - which runs from 3 November to 3 December 2019.

The campaign was launched by Minister in the Presidency: Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane together with Deputy Minister in the Presidency: Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize on Sunday in Pretoria.

The month will also focus on improved access to universal education, life skills, skills development and training remains a priority for the next five years.

“This will be supported by targeted measures to ensure early development screening of all children for developmental delays and disability, with concurrent individualised early intervention services for children with disabilities,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

The month-long campaign is aimed at raising awareness to the harmful effects stigmatisation, prejudice and stereotypes has on the disability sector.

The campaign also aims to celebrate individuals who have overcome prejudice, societal barriers, and hardship to excel in their chosen fields.

The theme for the month: “Together Building South Africa Inclusive of Disability Rights” responds to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to work together to grow South Africa.

“We believe that there is a higher incidence rate of abuse perpetrated against persons with disabilities. During the 16 Days of Activism Campaign we also call on the disability sector to elevate their voices to raise attention to the particular contexts and abuses taking place against persons with disabilities,” the Minister said.

On Saturday, Mkhize spent the day in conversation with leaders in the disability sector, to unpack the barriers that persons with disabilities experience on a daily basis, and to engage on solutions that will deliver faster results over the next five years.

The Deputy Minister emphasised the need to ensure that responses to the daily struggle of persons with disabilities find expression at district level, through President Ramaphosa’s Khawuleza District Development Model.

She expressed appreciation for the disability sector’s commitment to play its part in mobilising local communities, in particular in rural communities.

The Disability Rights Awareness Month campaign carries weekly sub-themes which are reflected in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (2019-2024) of government.

The following sub-themes are intended to focus conversations on priority areas identified by the disability sector, which also link to the seven priorities of government:

  • Week 1: Children and young people with disabilities empowered to chart their own destiny through access to quality lifelong learning
  • Week 2: A built environment accessible to all persons with disabilities
  • Week 3: Persons with disabilities as equal players in building inclusive economies
  • Week 4: Children and women with disabilities – feeling and being safe as equal citizens in their communities. –