March is Intellectual Disability Awareness Month and to highlight this, Little Eden, a local non-profit organisation, challenged CEOs to spend a day in a wheelchair to help highlight the challenges that many disabled people face within the workplace, and to celebrate them for rising above these daily challenges.
Fleet and mobile asset-management solutions provider MiX Telematics took up the challenge; with divisional director of operations, Jeandre Koen, spending a day in a wheelchair at the company’s office in Midrand.
“So often we overlook the challenges faced by people with disabilities. I feel very honoured to have been a part of this challenge to raise awareness about disabilities,” says Koen. The CEOs taking part in this challenge were also encouraged to donate R50 000 towards the organisation’s residential care programme.
“We embarked on this wheelchair campaign to raise awareness around disabilities and to help raise funds for the disabled people in our care, given that most corporate social investment funding goes towards other areas such as education.
“As such, we welcome the support received from corporates, such as MiX Telematics, that have done their bit to help us keep our doors open and continue to help people in need of our care,” explains Zai Miller, development officer at Little Eden.
Little Eden was founded 50 years ago by Domitilla and Danny Hyams, with only a R10 donation. Today, there is a care centre in Edenvale and one in Bapsfontein. In total 300 profoundly intellectually and physically disabled children and adults are cared for at these centres.
Although many of the residents are in wheelchairs and need extra care, they are unable to attend a special needs school and, as a result, Little Eden provides the best possible stimulation for them, such as music therapy.