The practice of democratisation at the centre of development in South Africa has
brought about dual impacts of change. Diversity within South African societies
has increased challenges facing the state. While emphasis has been continually
placed on promoting processes of transformation, there has simultaneously been a
challenge of deceleration in state developmental practice during pursuits of social
change in working environments. Persons with disabilities continue to be secluded,
regardless of increased pressure for inclusiveness in workplaces.
Diversity in employees as an inevitable element of social groupings has surfaced
as a precept of both strengths and challenges to organisational structures in
private and public organisations. In light of diversity in public organisations, the
primary focus nonetheless remains fixated on the divisions etched in the workplace
as a consequence of disablism, in particular. Persons with disabilities have been
pinpointed as one of the targets of exclusion, continuing to be undermined in their
contributions to effective organisational practices. To transform organisational
attitudes affecting persons with disabilities and embracing diversity, attention is to
be directed towards the application of principles of equality and human rights in
creating enabling environments that are inclusive of persons with disabilities.
The article reviews the concept of disablism as a societal phenomenon affecting
persons with disabilities in organisations. Furthermore, the principles of equality
and human rights are explored in terms of their contribution to diversity and an
enabling environment in the workplace.