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Disability Workshop Development Enterprise (DWDE) - International Small Business Conference 2009

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • April 6-7, 2009

Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities: ARTICLE 27: Work and employment
South Africa has ratified and became a signatory to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and its option protocol in 2007. The right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. In 2005, the Social Services Cluster Committee of Cabinet approved the following definition on disability:“disability is the loss or elimination of opportunities to take part in the life of the community, equitably with others that is encountered by persons having physical, sensory, psychological, developmental, learning, neurological or other impairments, which may be permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, thereby causing activity limitations and participation restriction with the mainstream society. These barriers may be due to economic, physical, social, attitudinal and/or cultural factors.”

Aim of the Conference
The aim of the conference is to bring together key industry stakeholders to deliberate, share knowledge, exchange ideas on the establishment of sustainable business partnerships between the government or the business sector and the disability sector. This conference will be geared towards finding solutions for the disability sector to have increased access to the mainstream economy.

Objectives of the Conference

  • To promote and highlight the role that SMMEs can play in sustainable economic development of people with disabilities and share case studies;
  • To bring together the disability sector with other key industry stakeholders to share knowledge on the plethora of Small Business Initiatives, Services and Products and how these relate to the disability sector;
  • To help promote SMME Research and Development in the disability sector;
  • To provide a forum for networking between entrepreneurs, financiers, academia and other entrepreneurial support organisations.
  • To provide the platform for business partnerships between government, the business sector and the disability sector.

Rationale for the theme of the Conference
This conference therefore aims to bring together the disability sector with the different stakeholders to enhance the economic inclusion of people with disabilities through establishing and strengthening partnerships with and between existing initiatives. The cornerstones of these partnerships would be:

  1. to facilitate and increase access to opportunities and services (such as market access, development of business plans,formal financing for SMMEs, etc.
  2. Facilitate the dissemination of information on existing regulatory environments,
  3. Facilitate access to and dissemination of SMME Business support Toolkits that are developed by other organizations,
  4. Facilitate access to information on business development services offered by the private and public sector

Almost all current economic development initiatives lack the detailed knowledge and expertise required to ensure that people with disabilities are specific beneficiaries of their policies and programmes. At the same time, people with disabilities continue to be un-informed on the opportunities and services that do exist to support their full inclusion in economic activities. DWDE’s main objective with this conference is to address this specific twin-pronged challenge by relating it to the transformation of Protective Workshops.

Who should attend this conference?

  • Government officials
  • SMME Support Organisations
  • Business Development Managers
  • Management responsible for Enterprise Development
  • Procurement Managers
  • Managing Directors

For further information, please visit http://dwde.wordpress.com/disbc-2009/