Assistive Technologies in a Workplace Environment: Barriers for the Employment of People with Disabilities
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
Agocs C (2002). Canada’s employment equity legislation and policy, 1987 – 2000: The gap between policy and practice. International Journal of Manpower; 23(3): 256 – 276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01437720210432220
Beals S (2002). Unique tools to help the disabled: Work Flow; 36-37. www.electronicpublishing.com, assessed March 2003.
Black Management Forum (2003). Review of Employment Equity. http://www.bmfonline.co.za, accessed March 2003.
Brett JT (2000). Working for people with disabilities. New England’s Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development; 15(2): 25 – 28.
CEE (Commission for Employment Equity) (2002). Annual Report 2001 – 2002. Pretoria: Department of Labour.
Coolican H (1997). Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology. In Hussey J, Hussey R. Business Research. Hampshire: Palgrave.
Conlin M (2000). The new workforce. Business Week. Issue 3673: 64 – 68.
Crampton SM, Hodge JW (2003). The ADA and disability accommodations. Public Personnel Management; 32(1): 143 – 155.
Creswell JW (1994). Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. California: Sage Publication Inc.
De Jonge D, Rodger S, Fitzgibbon H (2001). Putting technology to work: users’ perspective on integrating assistive technology into the workplace. Work; 16(2): 77 – 89.
De Laurentiis J (1991). Eliminating barriers. Canadian Business Review; 18(2): 33-35.
Department of Labour (1998). The Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998. http://www.labour.gov.co.za, accessed April 2003.
Department of Labour (2002). Code of Good Practice on Key Aspects on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Toolkit: Managing People with Disabilities in the Workplace. www.serviceseta.org.za/EAP/eap_index.html, accessed March 2003.
Global Diversity, (2000) Global News, March (2000) Global Diversity @ Work. www.diversityatwork.com/news/mar00/news_sa.html, accessed March 2000.
Hignite C (2000). The accessible association. Association Management; 52(13):36 – 44.
Inge KJ, Strobel W, Wehman P, Todd J, Targett P (2000). Vocational outcomes for persons with severe physical disabilities: design and implementation of workplace supports. NeuroRehabilitation;15: 175 – 187.
IRS (1998). Employers’ Disability Policies. IRS Employment Review; Issue 650:4-15.
Krefting L (1991). Rigor in qualitative research: the assessment of trustworthiness, The American Journal of Occupational Therapy; 45 (3): 214-222.
Kriegel L (2002). Handicapping the crippled. Nation; 275(6): 32 – 36.
McClain CV (2002). Governance and legislation in South Africa: a contemporary overview. Disability World; 12. www.disabilityworld.org/gov/southafrica.shtml, accessed 2003.
McGregor C (1991). Disabled people for employment equity. Canadian Business Review; 18(2): 30-33.
Merriam SB (1998). Case Study Research in Education: A Qualitative Approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Minkel W (2003). Enlightened approach. School Library Journal; 49(1): 26-28.
Morrison K, McKenna SJ (2002). Automatic visual recognition of gestures made by motor-impaired computer users. Technology and Disability; 14:197 – 203.
NCT (2003). Neville Clarens Technologies. http://www.nctec.co.za, accessed March 2003.
Ohlhorst FJ (2000). Assistive technology expands horizons for all in workplace. Computer Reseller News; 879: 61 – 63.
Raimond P (1997). Management Projects: Design, Research and Presentation. Chapman Hall, London. In Hussey J, Hussey R, Business Research, Hampshire: Palgrave.
Ratcliff D (1995). An elementary school hallway: social formations and meanings outside the classroom. Doctoral dissertation. The University of Georgia, University Microfilms # 9531229.
Roberts M (2000). From the wilderness to the workplace. Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment; 2(2): 66 – 73.
Robitaille SA (2002). Victory in disguise for the disabled. Business Week Online; 1.
Saskatchewan HRC (2000). Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission – Equity. www.gov.sk.ca/shrc/equity2000/equity15.htm, accessed June 2003.
Schall CM (1998). The American disabilities act - are we keeping our promise? an analysis of the effect of the ADA on the employment of people with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation; 10: 191 – 203. In de Jonge D, Rodger S, Fitzgibbon H. Putting technology to work: Users’ perspective on integrating assistive technology into the workplace. Work, 2001; 16(2): 78.
Schneider M (1999). Achieving greater independence through assistive technology, job accommodation and supported employment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.12: 159 – 164.
Services SETA (2002). Toolkit: Managing People with Disabilities in the Workplace. www.serviceseta.org.za/EAP/eap_index.html, accessed 2002.
Siegal C (2001). International Disability Rights Law: Norm or not? International Civil Liberties Report; 18 – 31.
Singh AM (2002). Bridging the Digital Divide: The Role of Universities in Getting South Africa Closer to the Global Information Society. http://citte.nu.ac.za/papers/id7.pdf, accessed May 2002: 7-8.
Stead A (2002). The future of assistive technology services in the United Kingdom, Technology and Disability; 14:149 – 156.
The Star (2003). Employability Offers Disabled a Lifeline, 24 June 2003.
Van Maanen J (1997). Qualitative Methodology. Sage, London. In Hussey J, Hussey R. Business Research. Hampshire: Palgrave, 1997:140.
Wagner CC (1992). Enabling the disabled. The Futurist, May-June 1992: 29 – 32.
Whiting MA (2001). Hiring workers with disabilities. Across the Board; 38(6).
Woodhams C, Danieli A (2000). Disability and diversity – a difference too far? Personnel Review; 29(3): 402 – 417. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483480010324779
Yin RK (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
- There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright (c) 2015 Maria Jakovljevic, Sheryl Beverley Buckley
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development