Assistive Technologies in a Workplace Environment: Barriers for the Employment of People with Disabilities

Maria Jakovljevic, Sheryl Beverley Buckley


Purpose: The employment equity policies and implementation of technology-specific guidelines within the South African ‘Code of Good Practice on the Employment of People with Disabilities’, was created to encourage employment equity for employees with disabilities, by companies in Johannesburg.  

This study reports on the results of the investigation in assistive technologies in a workplace environment, and barriers for the employment of people with disabilities in the South African environment.

Method: Qualitative data, collected from two retail and service companies in the form of semi-structured individual and focus group interviews, was analysed using a constant comparative method, identifying major themes and sub-themes.

Results: A surprisingly small number of persons with disabilities were found to be employed by participating companies, which tended not to focus on these people when formulating their policies and plans. In addition, technological aspects of the Code were largely unacknowledged, with little effort being made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. An even lower incidence of assistive technology usage was found, along with a large number of conceptual and perceived barriers that hinder the employment of people with disabilities and the implementation of appropriate technology.

Key words: assistive technologies, disability accommodation guidelines, barriers for employment, disabilities, policy

 doi 10.5463/DCID.v22i2.32


Assistive technologies, accommodation, barriers for employment, disabilities, policy

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