People for Awareness on Disability Issues (PADI)

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PADI is an organisation of and for people with disabilities whose main objective is to educate and create awareness on matters relating to disability.

PADI was established in 1987 as a result of a survey conducted by a social work student, seconded to Radio 702, a local talk radio station, to research the needs of Persons with Disabilities in the community. Since its inception, PADI has conducted ‘Experiential Learning Seminars’ on disability, in various sectors of the community for approximately 1,000,000 participants, e.g.

- School Learners: Primary Schools, High Schools
- Tertiary Education: Conservationists, Occupational Therapy Students, Physiotherapy Students, Sociology Students, Dental Students, Nursing Education.
- Para Med Students: Ambulance Trainees, Trainee Fire Officers, Care Givers for various Institutions, Community Based Rehab Workers
- Corporate Entities: Airlines, Banks, Mining Houses, Scriptwriters of a TV Programme (focusing on Disability), Government Departments

In 1990 an initiative was started in Bushbuck Ridge, a rural community in the Mpumalanga Province. A team of four facilitators, all of whom are persons with disabilities, are presenting seminars to schools, hospitals and clinics in their area.

PADI Bushbuck Ridge facilitators also:

- Act as advisors within their community regarding issues relating to disability.
- Act on accessibility.
- Offer parent counselling.

2001 saw the start of another initiative in a semi-rural area centred round Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal thereby empowering other disabled people to take their rightful place in society, using PADI Bushbuck Ridge as a blueprint. Due to the success of these initiatives a new branch has recently been established in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

In-Service Training is provided for all PADI facilitators.

The topics covered in this training include:

- Insight into various disabilities.
- Grooming and Personal Management.
- Providing Skills and Business Etiquette.
- Literacy and Basic Bookkeeping.
- Motivational Skills.
- Fund-raising Techniques.

As a result facilitators have become more professional in the way they present themselves in the seminars, and are able to pass on their skills to other people with disabilities, thus demonstrating that they too can become leaders within their own communities.

PADI has designed seminars for Educators and have conducted Programmes with:

- Johannesburg University - Master Students
- Johannesburg University - B Ed Honours Students.
- Potchefstroom University - Department of Education.
- National Department of Education.

We also conduct Employment Equity Audits and Training Seminars for Corporate Organisations.

People for Awareness on Disability Issues is run by a committee of four People with Disabilities. Our Chairman is a person who has lived with a disability for the past thirty-nine (39) years and speaks from experience and our Director has played an active part in the disability field for the past forty-eight (48) years. Our facilitators come from various walks of life and many are people of colour. There are also three members of staff who are non-disabled and carry out the day-to-day administration of the Organisation. Regrettably there are no volunteers, due to the economic downturn; many housewives are unable to assist Non-profit Organisations, as they are required to supplement their husband’s income and as a result this has affected PADI’s financial situation.

People for Awareness on Disability Issues (PADI) is unique in its approach. We aim to empower those we reach thus providing them with independence rather than making them dependent on others.

PADI is a stepping stone, as many of our facilitators have been reintegrated into the corporate world, once they have realised their potential, have gained skills and above all the courage and belief in them selves that ‘anything is possible’.

Operates in: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Established in: February 1987

Non-Profit Organisation Number: 005-122
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 130004280
Section 21 Company Number:
Trust Number:

Contact person: Sandy Heyman
Phone: 011 436 0409
Fax: 011 435 3656
Physical address: 59th 1st Avenue, The Hill, Rosettenville
Postal address: P O Box 452, Rosettenville, Johannesburg, 2130

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