Casual Day: Impact on disability policy and legislation
Casual Day is a project that raises funds for services for persons with disabilities. The project is also involved in influencing the government’s policy and legislation framework around disability through its parent organization, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA.
Says NCPPDSA director Therina Wentzel, “The funding that we generate through the Casual Day project is utilized in many ways that are not always evident. Of course, it is important to provide services to persons with disabilities on a daily basis, and this is done through our twelve national beneficiary organisations. But it is also very important that we steer policy and legislation. Last year, for example, the NCPPDSA contributed to the process of the development of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, we participated in the review of the White Paper on Social Welfare Services.
“As we celebrate Youth Month in June, we are mindful of the fact that children with disabilities suffer more abuse and neglect than children in general. Our work takes us to communities where children live in really dire conditions, without any resources or recourse to the law. We have recently made recommendations on the programmatic inclusion of children with disabilities in government’s roll-out of the Isibindi community based child protection programme.”
The NCPPDSA aims to ensure that children with disabilities are fully accommodated and provided for in general child protection programmes. The Isibindi model of care is a community-based programme that trains unemployed community members in accredited, integrated child and youth care services for child-headed households and vulnerable families.
According to Andre Kalis, NCCPDSA’s officer heading up the division dealing with children and policies, elaborates: “NCPPDSA’s recommendations on the inclusion of children with disabilities into the Isibindi programme, emphasizes that the programme should make adequate provision for the identification, protection and advancement of the rights of children with disabilities. Isibindi offers an ideal opportunity for holistically addressing the needs and challenges of children with disabilities who find themselves in a seriously disadvantaged position and such opportunity that we now have with the upscaling of Isibindi should be grasped.”
These are some of the recommendations made by NCPPDSA to Isibindi:
- Ensure that all children with disabilities are identified and reached out to. This considering the fact that due to stigmatisation children with disabilities are often hidden and sometimes literally locked away in back rooms;
- Systematically address stigmatisation, discrimination and stereotyping present in communities towards children with disabilities through community work processes;
- Work towards the deliberate social, recreational, cultural and educational inclusion of children with disabilities, thereby addressing the gross exclusion and alienation so prevalent in their lives;
- Address the right of children with disabilities to a basic education and to ECD on an equal basis with their able-bodied peers;
- Work towards the provision of assistive devices according to the disability-specific needs of individual children.
In conclusion, Wentzel says: “NCPPDSA’s lobbying role is fundamental to maintaining a national network of disability organisations that work together under the umbrella of the South African Disability Alliance (SADA). The majority of Casual Day’s twelve national beneficiaries are also members of SADA, creating yet another opportunity for the disability sector to collaborate and speak with one voice.”
Now in its 22nd year, Casual Day is the country’s foremost fundraising project for persons with disabilities and sponsored by the Edcon Group and supported by a number of corporates. Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA (NCPPDSA).
And now for 2016: Let the fun and games begin! Casual Day is on Friday 2 September 2016. The theme is Up Your Game.
You can contact the organisers of the project on 011 609 7006 or visit our website at www.casualday.co.za
The funds are raised as a result of a R10 donation for a Casual Day sticker.
Keep abreast of activities at Casual Day on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CasualDaySA