What started out as the Hope-Mandeville Career Expo held at the Hope School has grown into a two-day event attended by various industries within the disability sector, as well as students and other people with disabilities. The 2019 Disability Summit and Career Expo, sponsored by the SABC, was held at the Nasrec Expo Centre, Johannesburg, on April 11 and 12.
Participants had the opportunity to sit in on a number of presentations and visit a variety of stands featuring exhibitors such as Wheelchair Tennis South Africa, OUTsurance, the SAB Foundation, Microsoft and Driving Ambitions.
The original motivation for the expo was to offer students with disabilities the chance to find out more about potential employment opportunities while allowing employers to network with students who might become future employees.
The event also makes it possible for businesses within the sector to connect with one another. “The expo offers our business great exposure and the opportunity to network,” says Gary Hopkins, founder of I Love Coffee. Even companies who are not able to provide students with employment opportunities can still play an important role by inspiring them.
“We get to have conversations with young people to help them dream,” says occupational therapist Tammy Greyling from Clothes 2 Good, a clothes recycling and repurposing initiative that offers employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities.
Possibly even more significant is the fact that the expo has become a platform where various stakeholders can discuss the challenges around employment of people with disabilities in South Africa and what can be done to overcome them.
Learn more about the 2019 Disability Summit and Career Expo in the next issue of ROLLING INSPIRATION. Subscribe today to make sure you never miss out on the latest news from the disability sector.