As part of the Disability Rights Month (DRAM), the National School of Government today, recently started rolling out an accredited five-day Basic Project Management course for employees with disability in the public sector.

The principal of the National School of Government, Prof, Busani Ngcaweni said the purpose of the course is to enable participants to align to project planning components and to integrate these into a single overall project management plan for a simple to a moderately complex project. He also said that the course will be delivered online through the NSG eLearning portal and that this delivery mode is effective as the country is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

He explained that the course will run from the 23rd to 27th of November 2020, noting the fact that Disability Rights Awareness Month runs from the 3rd of November to the 3rd of December annually in the country. Ngcaweni said during this month, the public is reminded that persons with disabilities continue to experience unacceptable levels of exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination and are unable to take up or access affirmative action opportunities or access public services provided for the general population.

He said that the Policy on Reasonable Accommodation and Assistive Devices for Employees with Disabilities in the Public service makes provision for employers to ensure that employees with disability fully participate in the activities of the department.

“Through this year’s theme “Together Building Communities Inclusive of Disability Rights” we are all called to play our part in ensuring that persons with disabilities are able to access the same opportunities as all citizens of our country. The public service, in addition to ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to services, is also responsible for the empowerment of public service employees to ensure they progress in their professional and personal lives,” said Prof Ngcaweni.

He added that in addition to the call to action through the main theme, there are weekly sub-themes that call on specific sectors to respond in creating a disability-inclusive environment.  He said in response to this call, the National School of Government aligns itself with the Sub-Theme: Accelerating inclusive learning environments for persons with disabilities at all levels and that the NSG identifies with this theme as its mandate is the provision of education and training interventions for all public service employees.

“The NSG’s eLearning platform aims to be fully accessible and usable for the widest range of users. The platform complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines which cover a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, and photosensitivity,” said Ngcaweni.

Ngcaweni explained that the platform is compatible with assistive technologies for the visually impaired, such as screen-readers and screen-magnifiers. He said that hearing impaired participants are also accommodated as they are provided with transcripts for all materials and activities that depend on audio as a feature. He also added that the initiative is the beginning of a number of training interventions that will be earmarked for all learners in the public service inclusive of learners with disabilities.

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