The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is an NPO of quadriplegics and paraplegics with the vision that all quadriplegics and paraplegics live their lives to their full potential. QASA provides products, projects and services as well as lobby and advocacy and prevention programs to ensure the vision, mission and goals are achieved.
One of the greatest challenges faced by South Africa is the ability to create a diverse workforce which includes people with disabilities. In South Africa, people with disabilities form one of the largest minority groups and it is well known that people with disabilities in South Africa have historically been discriminated against. Mobility impairment, leads to social and economic isolation and QASA provides opportunities for our constituency to be empowered.
Employment equity exists in legislation, policies and programmes that have been put in place by government to promote disability equity although in practice falls far short as people with disabilities in South Africa are considerably more likely to be unemployed. The Skills Development Act is a significant piece of legislation as it “recognizes people with disabilities as one of the target groups for the purposes of skills development and advancement in the workplace”. This Act empowers people with disabilities to participate in learnership programmes and thus creates the opportunity of skills development and possible employment.
QASA understands that skills development and employment are key issues for persons with disabilities and we believe that it is essential for people with disabilities to gain the necessary skills in order to have the opportunity to enter the employment sector and gain meaningful employment which in turn leads to independence, sustainability, social integration and dignity.
QASA aims to improve the participation of persons with disabilities by providing them with employment opportunities. In addition, QASA encourages positive changes in the
perception and attitudes toward disabilities within the corporate sector. At present QASA’s “Employment Project” is the driving force to support people with disabilities into the workforce and maximize their opportunity to be identified and placed.