Original Research

How education, training and development support the wellness of employees with disabilities

Zelna van Niekerk, Mbulaheni O. Maguvhe, Meahabo D. Magano
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a882 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.882 | © 2022 Zelna van Niekerk, Mbulaheni O. Maguvhe, Meahabo D. Magano | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 April 2021 | Published: 29 April 2022

About the author(s)

Zelna van Niekerk, Department of Human Resource Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Mbulaheni O. Maguvhe, Department of Inclusive Education, College of Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Meahabo D. Magano, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Existing wellness theories do not consider the unique needs of persons with disabilities. The lack of recognition of these needs in traditional wellness theories encouraged the researchers to develop a wellness framework for employees with disabilities (EWDs) to influence their wellness positively.

Objective: The aim of the study was to identify the wellness experiences of EWDs and explore how education, training and development can contribute towards the employees’ wellness.

Method: The qualitative study entailed semi-structured interviews with EWDs identified through snowball sampling. The study used the six-dimensional model of wellness that Bill Hettler developed in 1976 as a departure point to a holistic approach referring to social, intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and occupational wellness. The data collected was analysed through content analysis.

Results: The study found that EWDs experience various workplace challenges as limited or no changes have been made to accommodate their specific needs. This then has a negative influence on their wellness. Their wellness diminishes as they attempt to cope with circumstances rather than request assistance. They recognised development needs in all the wellness dimensions explored. Employers and other stakeholders, including customers, colleagues and the communities they serve, need development and capacity building on disability matters to ensure equal opportunities for EWDs.

Conclusion: The study resulted in a Wellness framework for EWDs identifying the education, training and development needs that will contribute to their wellness.


Keywords

development; disability; education; employees with disabilities; employers; equality; training; wellness

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