Ari Seirlis is the CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and managing editor of Rolling Inspiration.
Raven Benny is the chairperson of QASA. He has been a C5, 6 and 7 quadriplegic since 2000. He is married with five children, is mad about wheelchair rugby and represented South Africa in 2003 and 2005. He also plays for Maties.
Ida’s Corner is a regular column by George Louw, who qualified as a medical doctor, but, due to a progressing spastic paralysis, chose a career in health administration. The column is named after Ida Hlongwa, who worked as caregiver for Ari Seirlis for 20 years.
Mandy Latimore is a consultant in the disability sector in the fields of travel and access.
Dr Jerry Gule is chairman of South African Employers for Disability (SAE4D) and general manager: Total Marketing Services Competency Centre (Pty) Ltd.
Dr Ed Baalbergen is the medical officer at the Vincent Pallotti Rehabilitation Centre (Cape Town) and is a member of the International Spinal Cord Society and the Southern African Neurological Rehabilitation Association.
Caroline Rule (B.Sc. OT UCT) is an occupational therapist, specialising in driver rehabilitation and wheelchair rugby.
Dr Emma McKinney is a “children with disabilities” specialist, a post doctoral fellow at Stellenbosch University and owns a company called Disability Included.
Heinrich Grimsehl is a prosthetist in private practice and a member of the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA).
Zain Bulbulia led the South African government delegation team to the United Nations (UN), New York, for the ratification and signing of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He is currently the acting head for gender, youth and disability in the planning commission of the Premier of Gauteng.
Stephanie Homer (B.Sc. OT) has worked on an innovative midlevel rehabilitation worker project and education programmes that strengthen community-based rehabilitation skills, in both students and rural therapists.
Emilie Olifant is a disability activist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. She is the director of the Emilie Olifant Foundation, an organisation that strives to address socio-economic issues experienced by people with disabilities.
Leon Fleiser has been involved with sport in the disability sector since 1992, when he started playing wheelchair basketball. He captained the national team to the Sydney Paralympic Games and the 2002 World Championships. He started working for Disability Sport South Africa in 2001 as a Coordinator for High Performance. It merged into SASCOC in 2005 and he is now the Manager for Team Preparation and Academy Systems. He has delivered Team South Africa to numerous Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and African Games.
Dr Estie Janse van Rensburg is the founder and MD of Charis Psychological Services. She has a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology (University of Free State, SA) and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (University of Bangor, UK). After being diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour, she combined her 15 years of clinical experience as a psychologist with her own journey as a patient, and developed a practice that specialises in providing psychological services to individuals with physical health challenges. Column courtesy of Charis Psychological Services.
Marteleze van Graan is a Counselling Psychologist registered with the HPCSA. Marteleze is in private practice in the Pretoria area and works for Charis Psychological services at rehabilitation hospitals in the Gauteng area. In the rehabilitation context, she provides counselling for patients and families as well as sexology. This article appears courtesy of Charis Psychological Services.
Emily Gray is an amputee reintegration and motivation specialist. She was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma when she was 11 years old, which necessitated the amputation of her left leg through the hip. She then went on to represent South Africa at three Paralympic Games. She now helps amputees and cancer patients reintegrate into society by focusing on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Danie Breedt is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the field of psychology. He divides his time between training future psychologists, research and clinical practice. Danie works from an integrative interactional approach in therapy dealing with a wide range of emotional difficulties. He is currently working as a psychologist at numerous physical rehabilitation hospitals across Gauteng for Charis Psychological Services where he does supportive counselling as well as sexual education for patients with disabilities. Column courtesy of Charis Psychological Services.
Rustim Ariefdien is a disability expert extraordinaire, who assists businesses to “let the Ability of disAbility enAble their profitAbility” through BBBEE, skills development, employment equity and socio-economic development. He ensures that businesses are able to maximise their points on the BBBEE scorecard and become compliant with legislative requirements as stipulated in the Employment Equity and Skills Development Acts. His purpose is the economic empowerment of persons with disability in Africa. As a person with a disability himself, he has extensive experience in the development and empowerment of persons with disability.
Barry Viljoen is a clinical psychologist. He divides his time between training future psychologists and psychiatrists, research and clinical practice. He works from a systemic interactional approach in therapy, dealing with a wide range of emotional difficulties and severe psychopathology, working with both adolescents and adults. Barry is in full-time practice at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital and is University of Witwatersrand, Department of Psychiatry, Joint Appointee.
Maché Smith is a 21-year old resident of Kraaifontein, Cape Town. She is a paraplegic as a result of a shooting tragedy that occurred in 2000. She matriculated n 2014 from Jan Kriel School where she was head girl. She is an ambassador for the Woman’s Achievement Network for Disability (WAND) and has been a motivational speaker for 10 years. Her goal is to break barriers within the disability sector, especially in media and fashion, and to be an example to other people facing difficulties in life.