The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities promotes the well-being and rights of the disabled within our society.
Its head offices located on Andries Pretorius Road in Edenvale are the headquarters for the council’s staff and its awareness initiatives.
Also read: Championing the disabled
To learn more about what the council is doing, the NEWS met with the council’s specialist in policies and children’s matters, André Kalis.
André said one of the main objectives of the council is to provide the correct information to community members and change stereotypes.
He said this year the council decided to take a stronger stance on the advocacy for the rights of disabled people.
“Through our work, we hope to foster respect for persons with disabilities.”
André said by creating more education the council aims to reduce disablism in South Africa.
“Disablism, like racism and sexism, is deeply rooted in society,” said André.
“The council will host more open-minded events to address disablism and do it in a non-judgemental way.”
André said in South Africa many disabled children are excluded from education because they are unable to access schools.
He said often the schools are either inaccessible, the curriculum has not been adapted or the necessary support structures are not in place.
“It is a very serious matter. If a poor child gets no education, they will have no future,” said André.
“They will be doomed to a life of poverty.”
André said in order to reduce disablism in society, steps need to be taken by the government and the community.
He said this will be done by hosting events such as the annual Nappy Run and hosting educational workshops.
Contact the council on 011 452 2774 to learn how you can help.