Sep 21, 2022
Inclusion high on TVET Colleges in the Western and Northern Cape Region’s agenda

Back (Left to right): Mr B. Mooi, Mr TJ Knipe, Mr D. Beech
Front (Left to right): Ms R. Basson, Ms Z. Ntakana, Ms M. Stevens, Ms W. Adams, Ms M. Lekay, Ms N. Nduna

The Workplace-Based Learning (WPBL) Forum of the Western and Northern Cape Region recently hosted the first of many workshops that emphasized the importance of TVET College placement for students that are differently abled.

WPBL Departments of the 8 TVET Colleges in the region along with various host employers, Student Support, Academics and many other private companies, supported this much needed event to ensure compliance and mitigating risks when recruiting new placement opportunities.

The workshop was led by Dr. Marcia Lyner-Cleophas and Ms Lizelle Apollis both from the University of Stellenbosch, who took the attendees through a spectrum of Neurodiversity in the workplace and reasonable accommodation which included some case studies and disclosure.

One of the themes were the importance of Universal Design, and how best one need to pay attention when amendments are made when new buildings are planned.

“We have the wonder of technology these days that can indeed be used to adapt to function better and broader access;” said Dr Cleophas during the discussion on how a company or institution can broaden its access with less cost and initiating avenues that will link people who are differently abled with reasonable access and work in an inclusive environment.

“What is seen as reasonable accommodation of a person with a disability in the workplace and what is not?” “How does a college or a company accommodate them and maybe even recognize when a person has a disability and what can you

look for?” All of these questions were answered as Ms Apollis took the group through the various tell-tale signs and what colleges and employers can do to assist and accommodate these members of their team and or student population.

“The biggest realization was that we need to go back to the drawing board, in order to strategically plan for neurodiversity at colleges and industry, ” said Wendy Adams, Boland College Deputy Principal: Registration Services and WPBL Regional Forum Chair.

The forum will be hosting more such workshops to empower not only the college teams but also host companies willing to support placement, and therefore become more inclusive in future.