Disability Agenda

The conference portion of the Disability Expo & Conference has been divided into two separate focus areas: Entrepreneurship on Day 1 and Challenges in the Working Environment on Day 2.

Challenges in the Working Environment September 18 2015, Day 2

Topic: Global trends informing leading organizations on how well-designed workspaces improve performance, speed innovation, and build healthy cultures whilst taking cognisance of people with disabilities.

Peter Townsend, Know More

Managing Director of Know More, Peter Townshend, has a long history in research and consulting, behaviour change, and environmental reporting. Townshend helped develop a curriculum on journalism and media studies for the University of Pretoria, and has lectured and spoken publically on a range of topics from business ethics to English literature, environmental awareness, sustainability and workspace theory.

Topic: Report on Netcare's programme on mainstreaming people with disabilities

Nceba Ndzwayiba, Netcare

Nceba Ndzwayiba is the Head of Transformation and People Development at Netcare Limited. He is passionate about critical issues of diversity, transformation, equality and social justice. He constantly engages in investigation and development of effective programmes aimed at accelerating the development, employment and career growth of marginalised groups more specifically, blacks, women and people with disabilities, and to drive purposeful culture change diversity interventions to create empowering organisational environments of differences.

Topic: Tips on how to tweak and improve the office environment through technology and infrastructure to make your company more attractive to people with disabilities thereby achieving your EEA requirements.

This hour long panel discussion will insight into how companies can use technology to assist in hiring people with impaired vision and practical changes on how to adjust your working environment to include people with disabilities without impacting on their dignity.

Gerhard Erasmus, Edit MicroSystems

Gerhard was born blind, attended the Prinshof and Pioneer schools for the Blind and his last three years of secondary education was completed at Tygerberg High School, a mainstream school in Cape Town. This is a task that could not have been completed without assistive technology. It gives him a unique perspective on inclusion as it applies to the blind and low vision.

In his 9 years in the assistive technology industry he has served both educational, corporate, government and other clients' assistive technology needs. For the last 2 years Gerhard has carried the vision of inclusivity forward at Edit Microsystems. A significant milestone during this time was the implementation of the eBraille project at 5 schools for the blind. It combines various assistive technologies to enable delivery of academic content in near instant Braille by use of refreshable Braille.

Willem van der Walt, CSIR

Willem van der Walt was born blind and matriculated at the Pioneer school for the blind in Worcester in 1984. He trained as a computer programmer and started to work at the Department of Health where he served in various IT-related positions, ranging from programmer to IT management. He studied computer science through UNISA and obtained a diploma in data metrics in 1989. He moved to the CSIR in 2005 where he works on various accessibility related projects, including the design of a low cost note taker for the Blind and the building of text-to-speech systems for the eleven South African languages.

Prof. Iain Low, Professor, UCT

Iain Low was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. As a practitioner he was Project Architect for the World Bank/Government of Lesotho where he researched education and designed locally produced schools for the Training for Self Reliance Project [TSRP], implementing them throughout the Kingdom. He has also designed the award winning reinstallation of Iziko SA Museum’s San Rock Art in Cape Town. Currently his research area is 'space and transformation' and the emergence of new typo-morphologies that reflect spatialisation in the contemporary [post-apartheid] city. He is published in a number of local and international journals. He is editor of the Digest of South African Architecture and the Digest of African Architecture.

Topic: Insights on how companies can overcome barriers to hiring people with disabilities and therefore more proactive in achieving their EEA requirements.

Madeliene will be focusing on how companies can prepare themselves and their staff in order to include people with disabilities in the workplace.

Madeleine van den Berg, EOH Recruitment

Madeleine obtained a BA (Industrial Psychology)-degree from University of Stellenbosch and Diploma in Labour Relations from Unisa. Madeleine is currently heading up the Disability Recruitment Division at EOH Recruitment Solutions. She is using her recruitment expertise to empower clients on how to recruit people with disabilities and thoroughly enjoys this challenge.

Training companies and SETA’s will be sharing how they can help companies achieve their SDL requirements with regards to people with disability.

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