A survey of occupational therapists’ involvement in facilitating self-employment for people with disabilities

Luther Lebogang Monareng, Denise Franzsen, Hester van Biljon


 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2310-3833/2017/vol48n3a8
South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2018; 48 (3):52-57

Background: In South Africa, occupational therapists are involved with the facilitation of people with disabilities ability to work, but the high unemployment rate in the country affects placement opportunities. Utilising the option of self-employment is a way of addressing this problem.

Objective: To explore the attitude of South African occupational therapists about facilitating self-employment with their clients, their awareness of available resources that support self-employment, if therapists are offering such intervention and what they perceive their role to be within the field.

Method: The study used a quantitative cross-sectional descriptive survey design.

Results: A positive attitude (90%) and good awareness of available resources (74%) existed amongst participating occupational therapists. Occupational therapy practices did not offer self-employment facilitation in an evidence-based manner. Therapists believed their roles were undefined within the field of self-employment, and their training did not equip them to offer such intervention.

Conclusion: Occupational Therapists agree that self-employment is a good work option for people with a disability and are aware of resources that support such endeavours. The therapeutic practice and role definition is lacking. Occupational therapists have to create evidence that enables transformational and afro-appropriate interventions, for example, self-employment for people with disabilities within their profession.

Key words: Self-employment, Unemployment, SMME (Small, medium and micro enterprise) and PWDs (People with disabilities)


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