It has been established that people with disabilities are in most cases excluded from society and major activities in society such as social recreation and employment in the open labour market. Only 1 % of people with disabilities in South Africa are working in the open labour market. Only some of the 99%, who do not work, receive a small grant from the state, which is their only form of income (White Paper on Integrated National Disability Strategy, 1997: 2-3). It is however an objective of the South African government to achieve equity in the open labour market. According to the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998), employers must not discriminate against any person, in this case the person with a disability, and should employ and reasonably accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. This causes a dilemma for many employers, because of stigma and misconceptions of disability and lack of knowledge and skills to accommodate and integrate disabled people in the workplace. There is also no training program or guidelines for a training program, developed through an empirical research process, available to assist employers in this process of integrating people with disabilities into the open labour market. As little research has formally been done regarding the attitudes, perceptions and needs of employers to integrate people with disabilities into the labour market, the subject of this study is relatively new. The researcher has therefore conducted an exploratory research study to explore employment possibilities for people with disabilities, the attitudes, perceptions and needs of employers as well as barriers that prevent the employment of disabled people. Based on this information the researcher has described guidelines for a training program for employers to integrate people with disabilities into the open labour market. This research study utilised the dominant-less-dominant model Creswell (in De Vos et aI., 2002: 365-367) has identified. The dominant approach was the quantitative approach, because of the structured interviews that were utilised in the collection of the data. Intervention and developmental research, a model from Rothman and Thomas, was utilised , because new knowledge was developed in this study. A framework for this study was established by undertaking a literature study regarding the theoretical framework for the study, disability as a social phenomenon, employers and the open labour market and strategies to integrate people with disabilities into the open labour market. Based on the literature study, a structured interview schedule was developed and 30 respondents took part in this study. The empirical research findings according to structured interviews with 30 respondents were analysed, interpreted and graphically displayed. According to these findings, guidelines for a training program for employers to integrate people with disabilities into the open labour market were formulated and further recommendations were made. The most important recommendation include: • To develop, on the grounds of these guidelines, a training program for employers to integrate disabled people into the open labour market, which can be tested, evaluated and disseminated in the future.
Dissertation (MSD (Research))--University of Pretoria, 2006.