Menu Accessible Cities – South Africa (AC-SA) – Disability Info SA

Unlocking The Shackles of Your Disability Using The Key of Knowledge

Accessible Cities South Africa (AC - SA)
Access Warrior

Accessible Cities-South Africa (AC-SA) is the 3rd of the 4 pillars which fall under the DiSA Umbrella. AC-SA has been formed to create awareness for the need for inclusive environments and to promote and showcase the partnerships that we have formed and work with to promote and help build a truly Accessible South Africa for all persons with disabilities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines, "An impairment as any temporary or permanent loss or abnormality of a body structure or function, whether physical or psychological" and that "Disability is imposed by society when a person with a physical, psychosocial, intellectual, neurological and/or sensory impairment is denied access to full participation in all aspects of life, and when society fails to uphold the rights and specific needs of individuals with impairments."

The 4 Pillars of DiSA

The 4 Pillars of DiSA. Click on the image to enlarge.

Disability info South Africa (DiSA) supplies a “Free One - Stop Information Service” for and about persons with disabilities. Started in 2015 by Alan Downey, DiSA not only provides easy access to information via our website, but also a free contact centre, providing advice and guidance to those in need. Having access to these services is a basic human right and is the first step towards creating an inclusive South Africa, where no person is excluded or discriminated against and everyone is aware of their rights and what or who is available to assist them.

Over the last 7 years DiSA has become South Africa’s Premium Free Disability Information Portal and has recently also evolved to not only Inform persons with disabilities on what services and products are available to assist them through our Information Desk, but also Identify and log barriers to access through our Yes to Access platform, with the aim to Address and remove these inequalities, discrimination and barriers with the assistance from various Access Warriors, through our Accessible Cities-South Africa (AC-SA) platform. Via our  DiSA’s News Network (DNN), we aim to Empower all persons with disabilities to live their lives to the fullest potential and celebrate their achievements.

By working with various like minded companies, individuals and organizations, we aim to create a link between them and the individuals, companies, clubs and organizations  that need assistance, with the aim of building an inclusive, accessible South Africa for all.

Current Policies & Legislation

The Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 has highlighted the major economic disparities in societies and the devastating and lasting effects that discrimination, marginalization and inequality have had and still have on the lives of many people in South Africa, especially persons with disabilities. This is despite the fact that our Constitution which was published in 1996, states:

“Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.” - The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

Since 1996 various other policies, Acts and regulations have been written and sanctioned to attempt to ensure that all persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights as other South Africans. These policies, Acts and regulations include but are not limited to:

  • The SANS 10400 part S which has been part of the National Building Regulations since 2011. It prescribes the basic design compliance which are applicable to all public buildings. These building and design guidelines, in conjunction with the Universal Design Principles, are meant to be applied by all architects, draftsmen and designers to provide inclusive and accessible environments for all.
  • In December 2015 the country's first White Paper on the rights of person's with disabilities was approved by cabinet. It acknowledges the deficits in access to education, reproductive health and rights, services as well as health care among persons with disabilities.The vision of the WRPD is the "creation of a free and just society inclusive of all persons with disabilities as equal citizens."

Despite these policies and legislation listed above as well as various others, many persons with disabilities, still do not have access to various public buildings; accessible public transport; inclusive education; employment; entertainment or recreational environments and essential products and services, such as equipment and easy access to government pensions and food parcels, thus preventing them from becoming active members of society.

Despite some improvements over the last 26 + years many of these regulations and policies are still not enforced and properly regulated, leaving many persons with disabilities and the elderly still feeling isolated from society. We at DiSA believe that the time for change is Now, we need to remove these inequalities, discrimination and barriers. Through our Accessible Cities South Africa (AC-SA) platform, we can achieve this if we unify all persons with disabilities, the organisations that represent them, as well as the business sector at large, and demand with one Voice the need for change and an inclusive, Accessible South Africa. We say "Yes To Access, Lets Break the Shackles of our Disabilities and claim our right to be part of an equal society."

Why We Need Accessible Cities South Africa (AC-SA)

No company or organisation is an island, we all need to work together to make the change that we so desperately need. Accessible environments are like puzzles, they include various different pieces, without all of these pieces, the puzzle will never be complete. With access to our information database of products, services and service providers, as well as our Access Warriors such as: Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB), The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Inclusive Design, Bradshaw LeRoux, Nicky's Drive, Paws4life Training Academy and Happy Factory, as well as various other friends and Members of DiSA which will be joining our AC-SA platform, we believe that DiSA can be the link to solidify everyone and form one chain working together to address these inequalities, discrimination and barriers to create a level playing field - Leaving No One Behind.

Through the reporting, identification and the logging of various barriers via our Yes to Access platform, DiSA not only provides a platform for anyone to report barriers to access or discrimination, but we will also find possible solutions and specialists, working together to tick all the boxes of accessibility. Via our DiSA News Network (DNN) platform and the videos and webinars that we produce, we will not only create awareness for the shortfalls but also celebrate companies and environments that are accessible and inclusive, therefore inspiring and encouraging other companies to follow suit and become truly accessible.

Accessible Cities South Africa - Partnerships

DiSA is committed to form partnerships with both the Business and Disability Sectors, as well as well as various Government departments, so as to be able to achieve our goal of creating "Accessible Cities in South Africa". As a member of the “Cities for All” Campaign, which DiSA is a signatory and supporter, we are committed to drive change from the ground up, to help transform South Africa and make it accessible.

The time for talking is over, we can no longer sit on the sidelines and wait for government to enforce change. We call on all Companies, Organisations and Government Departments to join forces with us and become "Access Warriors" to fight for change and become truly accessible.

What are Access Warriors?

An Access Warrior is someone who is committed to partner with DiSA on our Accessible Cities South Africa platform, where we will promote them and the work that they are doing and they will work together with DiSA and other Access Warriors, to either embrace change or provide services that enable change:

  1. Accessible Cities - Access Warriors: Include Companies, Schools, Travel and Accommodation Service Providers, Universities, Businesses, Government Departments and Sports or Recreational Facilities that are willing to embrace change and want to become more inclusive and accessible to all people, especially persons with disabilities.
  2. Access Warriors - Service Provides: Are Companies, Individuals and Organisations who can supply Services, Products and Support, to assist persons with disabilities and would like to be part of this network of passionate South African's who want to help adapt the environment, cities and human settlements that we live, work and play in and to make them accessible for all people, especially persons with disabilities.

The time is Now, by merging everyone’s time, resources, expertise and influence, we can Unlock the Shackles of disability and emerge from our comfort zones with the joyful anticipation of success.

Accessible Cities - Access WarriorsAccess Warrior

If your Company, School, University, Travel and Accommodation Service Providers, Business, Government Department, Sports or Recreational Facility would like to join us as an Access Warrior, and stake your claim as part of Accessible Cities South Africa, it is your duty to inform all role players and stakeholders in both the public and private domains:

  • of the underlying causes of the current marginalisation and social exclusion of persons with disabilities (PWD’s) and to recognise them for their commitment; and
  • to become accessible and inclusive in their Organisations, Companies, Schools, Universities, Businesses, Government Departments and Sports or Recreational Facilities.

As a representative of one of the above and as a group, you would be required to acknowledge the necessity of taking a proactive approach and to commit to the following 7 principals below, which include:

  1. Raising Awareness for Disability Rights.
  2. Initiating a Duty of Care to Respect, Value and Include Everyone.
  3. Achieving a certified level of Universal Accessibility.
  4. Identifying and contracting professional, ethical and accountable service providers in the Disability Sector.
  5. Taking a pragmatic approach to employing PWD’s.
  6. Challenging their peers and competition to equal or better their pledge to be recognised as accessible and inclusive.
  7. Become an Access Warrior in support of Access, Disability Rights and the Needs and Care of persons with disabilities.

Once you and your "group" that you are a representative of, has made the pledge to become "Inclusive" as per the points above and you have completed our "Accessible Cities South Africa Compact Agreement" below:

  • We will set up a meeting to discuss your needs and which "Access Warrior - Service Providers " listed on this page can assist you.
  • You will pay the yearly admin fee to join our Accessible Cities - South Africa page with a link to a one-page write-up about your company.
  • Once "Accessible and Compliant", you will be listed as "Accessible and Compliant" and will be recommended to those companies or individuals contacting us looking for Accessible venues or services in South Africa.
  • We will create a YouTube Video to promote your services that you supply and create awareness through this video.
  • You will be awarded your "Access Warrior" badge to be displayed on your website and email footer.
  • Your advert and pages on our Accessible Cities South Africa platform will be promoted and your Facebook adverts and video will be posted to our social media platforms.

By merging everyone’s time, resources, expertise, influence and passion and by working towards one goal with a plan and timeline in place, we believe that we can make the change that is needed.

Access Warrior - Service Provider

All "Access Warrior - Service Providers" are required to work together with DiSA and the other "Access Warrior - Service Providers" and to report on any progress with the Accessible Cities projects. To qualify as an "Access Warrior - Service Providers", you would also need to be able to supply at least one of the following services listed below:

  • Life Coaches, therapists and/or Motivational Speaker's
  • Disability Insurance Specialists, Disability Tax Specialists or Financial Adviser's
  • Qualified and Certified Builders, etc.
  • Qualified and Certified Web Designers
  • Disability Awareness Training
  • Disability Inclusion Training in the Workplace/Educational Facilities
  • Disability Job/Learnership Recruitment Specialists
  • Suppliers of Assistive Devices, Services and Educational Equipment for PWD's.
  • Accessible Transport Suppliers
  • Accessible Education Service Providers
  • Information Service Providers - Companies willing to sponsor the advertising on DiSA to assist small companies, clubs or organisations and to make information about these service providers easily accessible.
  • Universal Access Consultant - Qualified and Certified

Through our network of committed qualified service providers working together on various selected projects, we aim to be able to transform areas into fully accessible environments, which will eventually grow to become Accessible Cities where no-one is left behind and everyone can reach their full potential.

Those companies or individuals contacting us looking for the services listed above or for a "Full Accessible" package for their business, educational facility, etc. will be introduced to various "Access Warrior - Service Providers" who are advertised on this platform to make their services easily available. Each of these qualified service providers will form an essential piece of the puzzle, which put together will make a perfect picture of accessibility.

Benefits of Joining Accessible Cities South Africa

As a member of Accessible Cities South Africa, your services will not only be promoted on this platform, but you will also be offered various opportunities to be part of Accessible City projects as they develop. Through this platform, we will change lives and enhance your reputation as an Access Warrior, celebrating battles won and arming ourselves to go out and break down more barriers to access.

Benefits include:

  • One page advert dedicated to your company or organisation on our Accessible Cities Platform.
  • 250 – 300 word introduction to your company or organisation on our Accessible Cities Home Page.
  • Introduction to companies or individuals contacting us looking for the services that you supply or a "Full Accessible" package for their business, educational facility, etc.
  • We will create a YouTube Video to promote your services that you supply and create awareness through this video.
  • 2 Facebook adverts promoting your company or organisation.
  • You will be awarded an “Access Warrior” badge and Certificate.
  • Your company or organisation and services or products that you provide will be promoted via various webinars that we run and you may be invited to take part in these webinars to give some information about your company or organisation and the services or products that you provide.

"Access Warrior - Service Providers" that have joined this platform to make their services easily available will form an essential piece of the puzzle to help DiSA promote accessibility and break down barriers to create accessible environments.

Accessible Cities - South Africa Compact Agreement

The "Accessible Cities South Africa Compact Agreement" is an agreement between DiSA and other passionate companies or organisations that follow the same principals listed above, that would like to join DiSA on our Accessible Cities South Africa platform, so that they can fight for change to help build an Accessible, Inclusive South Africa.

If you would like to join us and become an Access Warrior - Service Provider, or join forces with us to fight for change and become an Accessible Cities - Access Warrior, please complete our compact form below, so that we can work together creating Accessible Cities in South Africa and beyond.




DiSA Partners in Access - Access Warriors

Both Access Warriors who provide products or services that enable change and those companies and organisations that embrace change and work with us to find solutions to various barriers, are listed below and currently include Cities for All, Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB), The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Inclusive Design, Bradshaw LeRoux, Nicky's Drive, Paws4life Training Academy and Happy Factory. Please read the information below to find out more about these organisations and companies and how they promote inclusive environments and Break Down Barriers, or Contact Us if you would like to be part of our Accessible Cities South Africa (AC-SA) platform and would like to find out more about the services that we can provide.

Please feel free to contact Alan Downey on: 021 761 4831 or 084 504 9176. Alternatively you can email us on: info@DiSA.org.za.

Cities for All

The “Cities for All” Campaign, driven by the Victor Pineda Foundation, World Enabled and the UN Habitat, to which DiSA is a signatory and supporter, emerged out of the need for the voices of the global disability community in local and international decision-making processes guiding urban planning and development. The “Cities for All” Network of strategic planning and engagements are directly influencing urban development processes.

“We, the signatories of the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities, commit ourselves to reporting, on a regular basis, about steps taken and progress made in making cities and human settlements more inclusive and accessible for all people. We will do so by using existing accountability and reporting mechanisms such as foreseen in Article 34 of the UN CRPD as well as through the High-Level Political Forum as the follow-up mechanism to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” – Cities4All

Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB)

Business Chamber Partners with Old Selbornian to raise Disability Awareness

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) founded in 1877 is the recognised “Voice of Business” in the region, working to create an enabling environment for economic activity and a platform for business to flourish. BKCOB who has their headquarters in East London/Buffalo City and offices in Queenstown counts over 700 businesses as members in good standing representing the private sector, thought leaders and academic institutions from a wide array of sectors. The driving focus of the Chamber is to represent the interests of business by identifying, developing and promoting the major issues that contribute to economic activity and growth.

At regional level, the Chamber strives to promote the socio-economic advancement of all people living and working in the Border-Kei region. It addresses issues around economic and industrial development; factory and business regulations; rates and local taxation; energy; town planning; crime; traffic and parking; regulations for informal traders; training needs; rail and air transport; freight handling; and tourist attractions.

We at DiSA are truly excited to be given the opportunity in 2021 to work with the Border-Kei Chamber of Business. Through this partnership we aim to identify barriers and inform and raise awareness in the corporate environment about disability in the workplace, so as to assist in clarifying and educating all parties involved.

Through our Accessible Cities-South Africa (AC-SA) campaign and in collaboration with BKCOB, we at DiSA believe that we have found the perfect partner with which to launch and run our pilot Accessible Cities South Africa (AC-SA) campaign. By partnering the "Voice of Business" with "South Africa’s Premium and Free Disability Information Portal", who has taken on the baton in the race to "Accessible South Africa - 2030", we believe that we can make the changes that South Africa so desperately need. The Time Is Now - We Are Stronger Together!

Read More

National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) is a cross-disability organization which represents the interests of all persons with disabilities in South Africa. NCPD is a NGO with a footprint throughout South Africa that plays a lobbying and advocacy role when it comes to the rights of persons with disabilities. "We're anNCPD umbrella body coordinating the advancement of the rights of persons with physical disabilities in accordance with the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and more. We have nine provincial Associations for Persons with Disabilities with numerous projects and branches that focus on rural development as well as social."

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities does advocacy work and services leading to an equitable and inclusive society. "We are affiliated to the South African Disability Alliance, as well as Rehabilitation International." Our programmes cover the whole of South Africa and Services include but are not limited to:

  1. Motivational Speaker's
  2. Disability Tax Specialists
  3. Disability Awareness Training
  4. Disability Inclusion Training in the Workplace/Educational Facilities
  5. Disability Job/Learnership Recruitment Specialists
  6. Accessible Transport Suppliers
  7. Universal Access Consultant - Qualified and Certified

In November 2018, the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) joined Disability info South Africa (DiSA) and became an active member of DiSA by not only assisting us with various daily queries that we receive through our website, but also by supporting us financially through advertising with us in 2018 and then continuously renewing their yearly advert. 2021 is the 4th year that NCPD will have supported DiSA, to assist us in supplying this free service to assist persons with disabilities. In August 2021, NCPD became one of the 1st organisations to come on board and join our Accessible Cities South Africa platform.

Read More

Inclusive Design

Inclusive Design is a company founded on the fundamentals of the South African Constitution and aims to serve as a driver of social inclusion for positive and effective change in the lives of people with diverse human needs. Our philosophy is guided by individual and shared needs of people and not that of special needs. Universal Design serves as a means in which to create and enhance the functionality of environments, services and products, forInclusive Design the widest range of users, recognizing diversity of the human condition. Inclusive Design as a company, recognises the importance of awareness raising and the dissemination of information on diversity and inclusion as an integral deliverable to achieve Universal Access and improving lives.

Inclusive Design serves as a mechanism to audit, review, design, create and advise on adaptations and/or enhancements for the functionality of environments, transport, technology, education, services and operations, and products for all users, to accommodate the full spectrum of human diversity. Inclusive Design specialises in providing practical, sensible advice on issues relating to Universal Access and works on the premise that environments, services and facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities are equitable in the eyes of the law, makes business sense, as well as being easier and more comfortable for all users, irrespective of their functional requirements.

Services that Inclusive Design provide, include:

  1. Disability Awareness Training
  2. Disability Inclusion Training in the Workplace/Educational Facilities
  3. Universal Access Consultant - Qualified and Certified
  4. Disability Specific Monitoring and Evaluation (Qualified M and E services).

In August 2020, Inclusive Design joined Disability info South Africa (DiSA) and became an active member by not only assisting us with various queries regarding Universal Access Design that we have receive through our website, but also by supporting us financially through advertising with us in 2020 and then renewing their yearly advert in August 2021. Inclusive Design also became the first company to join our Accessible Cities - South Africa platform, so that we can work together to break down barriers, creating Accessible Cities, one step at a time.

Read More

Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting

Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting was established in 1998 and are recognized leaders in Disability Inclusion. “We focus on sourcing, identifying, developing and retaining diverse talent within your organization. Through our range of Disability Awareness Campaigns, Stereotype Busting Training, Strategic Consulting, and On the Ground support services, we leverage the benefit of their extensive network and experience in Disability Inclusivity to create enabling and flexible business environments.“ Bradshaw LeRoux

“For companies seeking to employ talent, our role is to assist you in creating an accessible work environment that provides equal opportunities for employment of people with a disability. In a nutshell, we represent both job seekers with a disability, and assist companies with including and developing people with a disability by creating a disability inclusive environment. We also offer SETA Accredited Learnership Programmes and various other services including”:

  • Environmental Accessibility Audits
  • Disability Awareness Training / Equity Training
  • Communications Campaign
  • Empowerment Training for Persons with a Disability
  • Bursary Management Programme
  • Accessible Education Service Providers
  • ODIN: Online Disability Inclusion Network

In June 2017, Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting joined Disability info South Africa (DiSA) and became an active member of DiSA by not only assisting us with various queries that we receive through our website, but also by supporting us financially through advertising with us in 2017 and then continuously renewing their yearly advert. 2021 is the 5th year that Bradshaw LeRoux has supported DiSA, to assist us in supplying this free service to assist persons with disabilities. In October 2021, Bradshaw LeRoux also joined our Accessible Cities - South Africa platform.

Read More

Nicky's Drive

Nicky’s Drive is a registered non-profit organisation (086-364-NPO) that aims to assist South Africans with disabilities, to assist them to be more mobile and independent through the funding that they supply for car adaptions. The lack of accessible public transport is one of the greatest barriers to the employment of persons with disabilities in South Africa. The ability to drive an adapted car provides more than just freedom, it enables persons with disabilities to develop their self-confidence, gain better access to education and work opportunities and thus make a valuable contribution to society through their work and family life.Nicky's Drive

Founded in 2011 by Nicky Abdinor, Nicky’s Drive is funded through Nicky's motivational talks at conferences and events. Since 2011 TEDx Talk, Driving Dreams, Nicky has become a sought-after motivational speaker and has travelled around the world and appeared online sharing her story of resilience and cultivating optimism in uncertain times. Besides her unique story, Nicky has the added expertise as a Clinical Psychologist that further enhances her message to create sustainable changes in our attitudes, beliefs and emotions. A portion of Nicky’s speaking fee is donated to Nicky’s Drive and goes directly towards the funding of car adaptations in South Africa.

Current services supplied by Nicky's Drive and Nicky include:

  • Sponsorship of Hand Controls
  • Motivational Speaking
  • Disability Awareness Training / Equity Training / Disability and Diversity Training
  • Therapy Consultations.

In August 2021, Nicky’s Drive joined Disability info South Africa (DiSA) and became an active member, by not only assisting us with various queries that came via the DiSA website regarding individuals needing financial support to purchase Hand Controls, but also supporting us financially through the membership that they purchased from us in 2021. Joining our Accessible Cities platform in January 2022, Nicky’s Drive has become a valuable member and "Access Warrior" to help improve accessibility by removing the barriers that many people face in their daily lives.

Read More

Paws4life Training Academy

The Paws4life Training Academy is a specialised K9 training facility based in Cape Town which was started in 2015. We live by the motto: “Your dog is not just a dog”. We not only train puppies and dogs but we create an everlasting bond between human and dog.Paws 4 Life

Our founder has specialised knowledge in various areas of dog training and is also a qualified behaviourist. Paws4life has a few trainers who are qualified in their areas and specialities.

Through education, we strive to improve the lives of animals and in turn improve the lives of their people – cementing the bond between humans and canines. We also strive to provide affordable dog training that provides for the needs of all dog owners. The Paws4life training academy provide the following Assistance Dog Training:

  • Persons with Autism: Autism Support Dogs.
  • Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Psychiatric Service Dogs or PTSD Dogs
  • Persons with Epilepsy or Seizures: Epilepsy Alert Dogs
  • Persons with Psychiatric Conditions: Psychiatric Service Dogs
  • Persons who have Cerebral Palsy or are Medically Frail: Multipurpose Service Dogs
  • Persons who use Wheelchairs or are Unstable on their Feet: Mobility Assistance Service Dog or Balance Dogs
  • Persons with Diabetes: Diabetic Alert Dogs
  • Persons who are Deaf or have Hearing Impairments: Hearing or Alert Dogs.

In April 2022, The Paws4life Training Academy joined DiSA and became an active member, by not only assisting us with various queries that come via our website regarding Assistance Dogs, but also by supporting us financially through the membership that they purchased from us in 2022. By Joining our Accessible Cities platform at the same time, Paws4life has also become an "Access Warrior" helping us create awareness for the needs of these Assistance Dogs and the laws regulating them.

Read More

References

Cities For All
The Border-Kei Chamber of Business
National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)
Inclusive Design
BradshawLeRoux
Nicky's Drive
Paws4life Training Academy
Happy Factory