Boosting job prospects for the disabled

At last month’s summit, from left, are Joshua Wolmarans, from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism; Abdul Ryklief, from the Department of Social Development; Diane Boorman, from the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Undere Deglon, CEO of DWDE; Dave Zimmerman, from the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Jabaar Mohamed, from DeafSA; Isabelle Brettenny, from Plastics SA; and Roger Fritz, from DWDE.

The Disability Workshop Development Enterprise (DWDE), a Claremont-based non-profit, hosted a protective-workshop summit on how to improve employment opportunities for the disabled.

Protective workshops train people with disabilities so they can sell things they make to supplement their disability grants.

Government officials, non-profit organisations, financial institutions and educational institutions attended the summit in Newlands, late last month, along with businesses and funders and the workshops’ managers and clients, to discuss, among other things, training, enterprise development and the future outlook for the workshops.

According to Undere Deglon, the DWDE’s chief executive officer, the organisation is the umbrella body for 47 protective workshops in the province.

“They provide care, training and income generation projects for thousands of people with disabilities and this income enables them to supplement their basic grant and improve the quality of life for their families,” she said.

The DWDE helps companies include disabled people in their workforces.

“We actively pursue placement for our candidates, providing onsite training and ensuring that both the employee and employer are supported through the placement period,” Ms Deglon said.

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