Provincial Industry Disability Employment Summit 2016

On 13th October 2016, the third annual Provincial Industry Disability Employment Summit was held in Cape Town, at the head office of TFG (

The Summit is part of the work of the DEF (Disability Employment Forum), while the Summit was organized and managed by Blueprint 3.0 (

More than 170 decision-makers and stakeholders from leading corporate brands, as well as the public and disability sectors, attended the Summit. See the full Summit Attendee List here:


Purpose Of The Summit:

The purpose of this Summit was to provide a platform for all stakeholders to share knowledge, learning and experience on disability employment and related matters; as well as it providing a space for networking between industry peers.

The intent of the Summit was for decision-makers and practitioners at corporate employers-of-choice to come away from the Summit with more information, insights and knowledge about the challenges and opportunities for employing people with disability at their organisation; as well as with new contacts in the disability and supplier sectors, with whom they can partner with in future.

Also, it was a platform for decision-makers in the disability and public-policy sectors to understand what corporate-employers need if they are to successfully and sustainably employ more people with disability in the formal economy in South Africa.

And, also, we hope they enjoyed the experience and had some fun at the Summit too.

See the Summit event-booklet, for the Summit’s agenda and much more info’ about the event, at the link here:


Format, Agenda and Speakers At The Summit:

The format of the Summit was structured in a way that facilitated attendees to get access to a good mix of information, insight, shared experience and networking opportunities. These included:

Industry Employer Panel-Discussion: At the Summit there was an industry panel-discussion with decision-makers and senior practitioners from leading corporate brands, who shared their experiences on: the challenges and barriers they’ve experienced when working on disability employment projects, as well as what they’d value from the disability and public-policy sectors in order to support them in employing more people with disability at their organizations.The panel was formed of the following representatives from corporate employers-of-choice:

  1. Deon Benito, Head: Talent Management, Capfin (
  2. Samkelo Blom, HR Executive: Human Capital & Transformation, Spur (
  3. Lana Jackson, HRC: Learning & Development, TFG (
  4. Vasistha Ebrahim, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, Vodacom (
  5. Thato Lerato Matlala, Training, Learning & Development Manager: Contact-Centre, Virgin Active (
  6. Panel Co-Chairs: Theresa Lorenzo, PhD Programme Convenor (Division of Disability Studies), & Harsha Kathard, Interim Head: Department of Health Sciences Education, UCT (




Industry Supply Sector Panel-Discussion: Also, at the Summit there was a second industry panel-discussion, with industry representatives and stakeholders from the Supply & Public-Policy Sectors sharing their experiences on: the systemic challenges faced in addressing and supporting people with disability and disability employment in South Africa; as well as what the supply sector needs from the private sector in order to be better able to grow the talent pool of people with disability (that are ready for employment). The panel was formed of representatives from the supply sector (including from the disability sector, recruitment and training providers, the education sector, and employees with disability), including:

  1. Michelle Deyce, HR Administrator: Payroll, Sanlam (
  2. Ruwaydah Smith, Director (& DEF Committee Member), AR Aviwe Group
  3. Michael Bagraim, Founder & Labour Attorney, Bagraims Attorneys (
  4. Theresa Lorenzo, PhD Programme Convenor (Division of Disability Studies), UCT (
  5. Wade Schultz, MD, Brownies & Downies (
  6. Tessa Venter, Education & PR Specialist, Edit Microsystems (
  7. Lientjie van Rensburg, Chief Training Officer, NID (
  8. Panel Chairperson: Michelle Botha, Job Placement Officer, CTSB (



Thought Leader Presentations: Throughout the Summit, there were presentations on disability employment provided by industry thought-leaders and role-players. These were on a range of topics addressing disability and disability employment. Also, there were representatives from corporate employers (TFG and Vodacom) sharing their success-story case studies.

The Summit’s presentation topics and speakers included the following:

1. Topic: Mental Health Advocacy (& Awareness): Where does mental health fit into the disability employment landscape, what are the different resources and support available for employing people with such disability into the workplace, and how do you set them up for long-term success?

By Carol Bosch, Cape Mental Health, & Rene Minnies, Fountain House (

Email: &

2. Topic: Intellectual Disabilities at Work: How can special-needs adults be integrated into your business organisation? How do you break through barriers, stigmas and manage expectations surrounding disability employment? What support structures does it help to have in place?

By Wade Schultz, Brownies & Downies (


3. Topic: Industry Success-Story Case Study-1: TFG Financial Services

By Lana Jackson (HRC: Learning & Development), TFG (


4. Topic: Industry Success-Story Case Study-2: Vodacom

By Vasistha Ebrahim (Diversity & Inclusion Specialist) & Karen Smit (Principal Specialist: Specific Needs), Vodacom (

Emails: &

5. Topic: Solutions For Workplace Access & Accommodation Of Employees With Physical & Sensory Disabilities.

By Deon de Villiers & Lientjie van Rensburg, NID (

Emails: &

6. Topic: Technology Solutions, Workplace Access & Accommodation Of Employees With Physical & Sensory Disabilities,

By Gerhard Erasmus & Tessa Venter, Edit Microsystems (

Emails: &

7. Topic: The New Codes For The Implementation Of Employment Equity, including Disability Employment.

By Michael Bagraim, Bagraims Attorneys (




[And to a special ‘Thank You’ to Hearability ( for donating their Loop Sound System at the Summit (to assist those attending the Summit who are hard of hearing) and to their engineer for installing it on the day, at TFG’s auditorium.]




Breakaway Sessions & Workshops: During each of the four break-times at the Summit, we ran several Breakaway Sessions & Workshops in TFG’s Boardrooms, which were hosted by organisations that operate and specialize in the disability sector and/or who partner with employers on disability employment projects.

The Summit’s Breakaway Sessions, Workshop topics and speakers (as well as the organisations running the Break-Time Activities) included the following:

1. Diginity & Journey To Employment, by Cape Mental Health (

Email: &

2. Intellectual Disabilities at Work: Barriers, Integration, & Support, by Brownies & Downies (


3. Technology Solutions For Intellectual Disabilities & Employment, by Edit Microsystems (

Email: & &

4. Disability Hubs & Employment-Ecosystems for People with Disabilities, by Standing Tall & CTAPD ( &

Email: &

5. Impact of Peer-to-Peer Mentorship for the Employment Prospects of People with Visual Impairment, by CSTB & Work4You ( &

Email: &

6. Sensitisation Experential-Workshop & Disability Employment World-of-Work Support Tech’ Tools, by Edit Microsystems (

Email: & &

7. Effective Social Competency Skills for the Workplace, by NID (

Email: &

8. Reasonable Accommodation: More about the right attitude than a big budget, by Vodacom (

Email: &

9. Success Stories: Disability Employment and L&D Wins, by Edit Microsystems (

Email: & &

10. The South African Sign Language Digital Dictionary as a supportive mechanism in the workplace, by NID (

Email: &

11. IR & Disability Employment, by Bagraims Attorneys (


12. L&D Workplace Solutions for Disability Employment, by Edit Microsystems (

Email: & &

13. IPDM’s Disability Advice Desk, by IPDM

Email: &

14. Coffee Meets Disability Employment, by I Love Coffee (


15. Seated back, neck, hand &/or head massages, by the Light & Healing Centre (




Summit Tweets: Check out what some of those attending the Summit shared in their tweets at #DisabilitySummit on Twitter:


Summit Thank You: We’d like to thank everyone who supported and participated in this year’s Summit, including:

  • A BIGTHANK YOU’ to TFG ( for so generously hosting this Summit at their beautiful venue and for their hospitality to all those attending. Their support of the disability sector and disability employment is greatly appreciated!
  • A BIGTHANK YOU’ to Hearability ( for donating their Loop Sound System (to assist those attending the Summit who are hard of hearing) and to their engineer who installed it on the day, at TFG’s auditorium.
  • A special ‘Thank You’ to all our panelists, especially, those from employer-of-choice brands, including: Capfin, TFG, Vodacom, Virgin Active, Spur, and Sanlam.
  • Thank you to all the Speakers who presented at the Summit, including: Cape Mental Health, Brownies & Downies, TFG Financial Services, Vodacom, NID, Edit Microsystems, & Bagraims Attorneys.
  • Thank you to all those organizations that hosted a Breakaway Sessions/Workshop, including: Cape Mental Health, Brownies & Downies, Vodacom, NID, Edit Microsystems, IPDM, Standing Tall, APD, CTSB, Work4You, & Bagraims Attorneys.
  • Thank you to I Love Coffee for all the free fresh barista-made coffee at the Summit, as well as to the Light & Healing Centre for the free head/shoulder seated-massages they gave to attendees.
  • Thank you to NID for making their team of sign-language interpreters available at the event, to support to presentation speakers and breakaway sessions.
  • A special ‘Thank You’ to the team of Summit Assistants from Cape Mental Health. They were the team of people in green t-shirts who were so helpful in welcoming arriving attendees at the Registration Desk, directing people to the breakaway boardrooms and other venue facilities. I think you’ll agree with us that they were pretty awesome and very helpful throughout the Summit!
  • And, finally, ‘Thank You’ to everyone who attended this year’s Summit. We hope that you enjoyed the event and got lots of value from it. And we hope the info’ and connections from the Summit helps you in your work of employing more people with disability at your organizations!

More About The DEF: The DEF (the Disability Employment Forum) is a Disability Sector industry body formed by stakeholders in order to address the challenges and opportunities for the increase of disability employment in SA. It was formed 3 years ago, after the first Provincial Disability Employment Summit. It also provides a platform for the Disability Sector to share news, projects, networks and success stories, as well as coordinate the work on disability employment projects that the organisations in the sector are working on.

The DEF Committee is formed of volunteers representing the following NPOs and organisations:


More About Blueprint 3.0: Blueprint 3.0 ( assisted the DEF by organizing, setting up and managing this year’s Provincial Industry Disability Employment Summit, including: creating the format and agenda, organizing and liaising with speakers and panel-participants and breakaway sessions, securing the venue and arranging the catering, creating and generating an industry invite mailing list, managing all market communications and RSVP management, all Summit materials, sponsorship, and running the Summit on the day.

Blueprint 3.0 works with a number of corporate employers, B2B Providers and industry bodies across a range of sectors, including in: Financial Services, Banking, Telcos, Retail, ICT, Media, and the BPO & Contact-Centre industry.

We’re a consultancy and provider of the following services and products:


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