With South Africa’s unemployment rate sitting at 29% finding a job can be a tough task, this task becomes even more challenging for the 7.5 percent (2,870,130 people) of the population living with some form of disability.
With the above in mind, Deaf internship students Siyanda Kopolo and Sieshane Perumal decided to create an employment website that caters specifically for disabled jobseekers and companies looking to hire disabled individuals.
The website, titled Disability Career 365, works the same way as any other employment website. “Companies looking for disabled employees can share their job vacancies and the requirements necessary, while disabled jobseekers can create a personal profile and upload their resume. Jobseekers can then apply for the available jobs and companies can contact the potential employees that they feel would be a good fit for their company” Kopolo explains.
“Companies often hire disabled people for the sake of BEE compliance but a lot of times they do not understand the different types of disabilities out there and the fact that people with certain disabilities are better suited to certain jobs,” Kopolo shares. In order to counter this issue, Disability Career 365 also includes information about the different types of disabilities, which jobs are suited to people with these disabilities and the work environments necessary to accommodate these individuals.
“A website like this will not only assist members of the disabled community to find work but it will also gather useful data regarding which types of disabilities get preference by companies during the selection process. This kind of data could help uncover biases within the job market and once these are uncovered South Africa can work towards dismantling them,” Tshepo Mohale, a software developer at Botlhale Village adds.
“We are just trying to level the playing field in any way we can,” Kopolo concludes.