Let me commence by wishing you a great and successful 2010 and that you achieve all of your employment aspirations, and congratulations to all who persevered at their matric, university or college studies.
I am excited by 2010’s employment and study opportunities for people with disabilities. Study Opportunities
Should you lack the financial means to study further please consider applying for a study bursary. These are not only available from the Department of Labour but also from companies and organisations.
An extensive list of bursaries is available on your web enabled cell phone. Go to www.gostudy.mobi (the website is also viewable on the internet) and scroll down to Bursaries. You can choose one of two ways to view the information. Choosing “All Bursaries” brings up a list of the various companies that offer bursaries. You then need to select each company, view their bursaries and decide whether they match your intended studies. The second choice, “By Study Field”, is probably an easier one. At a glance you will see your line of study and be able to view only the bursaries that match.
Most universities have Disability Units (see Rolling Inspiration 2009 Nov/Dec issue) with information on the accessibility of the campus. Advise them of your requirements so that the relevant reasonable accommodations can be made.
When looking for a job, disabled work seekers have concerns. Will their disability count against them when looking for employment? Will potential employers reasonably accommodate the disabled candidate and eliminate barriers where possible? And then there is the really big question: should I disclose my disability on my CV or not? And if I do, will my CV be considered fairly?
These are real concerns for disabled people who make job applications. The good news is that disabled work seekers can confidently apply for positions as the Employment Equity Act provides for the employment of people with disabilities.
Employers report annually on their recruitment of people with disabilities, so employers are on a drive to employ persons with disabilities. When looking at job adverts in career sections, you will notice that some display the disability logo or state that Employment Equity applications will receive preference. Disclosing your disability on your CV is voluntary; if it makes you feel uncomfortable you don’t have to do so.Reasonable Accommodation
Employers must make reasonable accommodations when recruiting PWDs. Accommodation should start at the selection process and employers will only be able to do this if candidates disclose their disability on their CV.
Reasonable accommodation requires employers to modify a job and/or workplace environment in order to enable the disabled candidate to access the job and be able to perform the essential job functions. This may include:
-Equipping a computer with text enlargement software for a visually impaired employee
-Removing non-core job functions
-Ensuring that training and induction material are accessible-Ensuring that adequate parking facilities are available
-Ensuring that doors are automated and access controls are at relevant heights
(Refer to the Technical Assistance Guidelines on the Employment of People with Disabilities available on the Rolling Inspiration Facebook page under photos for more information.)
Candidates with disabilities compete for positions and employers should not allow the cost of reasonable accommodation to determine or influence a person’s appointment. The best applicant with the most relevant potential should always determine the successful candidate.
A professional looking CV, that provides the relevant information, is essential and we shall be looking at that in the next issue. In the meantime make sure that the CV you submit for a position matches the requirements of the job advertised (and matches your experience and qualifications). This will ensure that your CV meets the inherent requirements of the job and will improve your chances of obtaining a job interview.