0116468331 info@apdjhb.co.za

Barrier Breakers Recruitment

Barrier Breakers Recruitment offers a specialized service both to people with disabilities seeking employment and employers wishing to hire people with disabilities. If you require further assistance please contact Palesa Tsotetsi 011 6468331 or email bbrecruitment@apdjhb.co.za Call now as she is eagerly awaiting your call.

Barrier Breakers Commercial Services

Ignoring the rights of 4 million South Africans can not be justified in a country priding itself on one of the best Constitutions (and therefore also Bill of Rights) in the world.  The appropriate legislation might be in place, but definitely not the appropriate attitude, with the result that people with physical disabilities are still invisible and / or inferior in the eyes of many South Africans.  BB wants to address this issue in a constructive and meaningful way.

Barrier Breakers offers the following services:

  • Accessibility – we help you make your premises accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Recruitment – both to people with disabilities seeking employment and employers seeking to hire people with disabilities.
  • Reasonable Accommodation – we help you find solutions to enable people with disabilities be active members of your workforce.
  • Awareness and Sensitisation – tailor made programmes to meet your needs.
  • Wellness Days – education on people with disabilities as well as raising awareness about disability prevention.
  • Team Building / Entertainment / Exhibitions – opportunities to let your staff “experience” the abilities of people with disabilities.

Home Based Care

Can you imagine your life as a person with disabilities?  You can’t perform the most menial, yet crucial tasks – like eating, bathing and going to the toilet – and you can’t afford to hire someone to help you.

That’s when you would realise just how important our HOME BASED CARE GIVERS are. Without them hundreds of people would experience indescribable suffering.  They roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to make life worth living “It is not an easy job, but we work together as a team, share ideas, sing, and pray to release stress,” says Manager of APD’s Home Based Care Services, Miemie Retsuri.

APD’s Social Workers started the Home Based Care Service in 1990, after they had determined that there was a need for a home-based care program in the community as many persons’ with disabilities and bedridden people were living in desperate circumstances without anything to eat or drink, and nobody to clean them. In some cases family members had left their jobs in order to care for their disabled people, with the result that the household income had either been dramatically reduced, or completely dried up, causing even more serious problems.

Volunteers Fade after a While

Initially, volunteers were recruited and trained to care for and assist people with severe disabilities in their own homes. But due to poverty conditions and the nature of the work – the duties of a care giver involve a lot of physical work, e.g. bathing a persons’ with disabilities involves bending, lifting and turning – it was difficult to retain volunteers.

Because of all the problems with volunteers, the APD decided rather to employ people as care givers. Late in 1990 the organisation employed the first batch of care givers and trained them in activities of daily living, e.g. bathing, exercises, incontinent management, dressing of bed sores and light meal preparation.

Since then, our care givers have helped many hundreds of people, such as James…

James Mohangwane was involved in a motor vehicle  accident at the age of 27  in October 2004.  James was paralysed from the neck down and could not speak.

James remained in a coma for five months being tranferred to various hospitals in the hope that he would recover.  Eventually James was discharged and sent home to be cared for by his family.

In March 2005, Lina Makgopa, an APD Home Based Caregiver, began providing care for James, basic necessities such as bathing, dressing etc.  James could only move his eyes and there was some doubt as to whether James would be able to recover.

Working as a team, Lina and James’ mother continued to assist James.  Lina introducing daily exercises to keep his muscles working whilst his mother attended to the necesities.  After a few months James began to move his body and was able to eat solid food.

With the dedication of Lina and the love and care that James received from his mother, James started to slowly make some progress.  After a year, James could sit, eat independently, and later transferred himself on to the wheelchair but still could not speak.  Gradually his speach began to return much to the delight of his family and the APD Caregiving team.

Over a period of time and with the continued support of APD Caregivers, James began to use a walking aid taking small steps at first before being able to start walking short distances unaided.

Today James uses a crutch as assistance when he walks long distances.  Not only has James regained his mobility, his ability to speak but James now runs his own taxi and telephone shop.

James was determined that he would never have to be dependent on a disability grant from the government.  His success story is inspirational.  James will forever be grateful to the support that he received from the APD Caregivers and the love and support provided by his family.

We congratulate James on his success and wish him everything of the best for the future.                                                                                     

Although James no longer needs the services of APD’s Home Based Careworkers, there are many who will need their assistance for the rest of their lives. This crucial service requires constant funding to meet the needs of our beneficiaries.  Contributions towards this service are always gratefully received.

Mixed Bag of Surprises

Being a care giver is not an easy job, but we forge ahead. We work together as a team, share ideas, sing, and pray to release stress. That’s why we still continue to make a difference in the lives of persons’ with disabilities.

Nobody knows what the future holds. If the past is anything to go by, the future will be a mixed bag of surprises. But the one certainty is that we will continue to assist as many people as possible each year to become independent.

Our main focus remains quadriplegics and severely physically disabled people. And we do not discriminate; how and why people become disabled or bedridden is not important to us. We cannot predict how many advanced Aids clients we will encounter, but we do know that the foreseeable future will show an increase in need.

And, when the inevitable comes, we provide a better quality of life allowing dignity and respect to be retained in terminal cases…

…With your help, the APD will always be able to reach out and render a professional service to those who can’t help themselves.

Lean On Us Home Based Care

“The APD’s Attendant Care Service is a crucial health service within the community. I know of the particular case of a blind lady. The attendant care givers from APD have, with incredible diligence, seen to all her needs, ensuring a safe environment is maintained and that she is in good health. The APD must continue with its good work, their service delivery is excellent,” Mrs ZE Gumede, Director: Customer Care, Department of Health

 FOR ONLY R550 (excl VAT) YOU GET:

  •  3 hour on-site home visit and assessment from our Home Based Care  Supervisor to ensure that you get appropriate care
  • 8 hour home-based care training session for your domestic which will enable her to assist you with all activities of daily living
  • Helpline: 6 month telephonic assistance and mentorship

For more information, please contact Rachel Legasa, Director of the Association for the Physically Disabled – Greater Johannesburg

on 011-646-8331 or rachell@apdjhb.co.za

Social Work

Social work services for greater Johannesburg are rendered in region B, E and F in both the formal and informal settlements.

History – Social Development:

The Social Development Programme started in 1934.  The areas of operation in the Johannesburg region are disadvantaged communities with poor infrastructure.  People with disabilities are further disadvantaged with regards to poverty, lack of formal education, the high rate of unemployment and access to essential services, etc.  These were identified as problems that needed to be addressed.  Sub-offices were established in the following areas to be accessible to the communities serviced:

  • Alexandra, 1993
  • Johannesburg, 1939

Goal of the Project

To be totally committed to working in partnership with people who have physical disabilities, mobility impaired and their families or support systems, in order to promote their integration into society, and to enable them to develop to their full potential.

Target Group

Persons with physical disabilities and/ or mobility impairment, their families/support systems, children, youth, adults, and the elderly, HIV/AIDS infected and affected.

Care and Support

Social work services are rendered to capacitate people with appropriate knowledge to access relevant services and the skills to resolve their problems and to achieve their full potential to lead independent lives.  In 2010/11 over 338 intakes were attended to and 307 home visits were conducted.  1580 interviews were conducted either telephonically or face to face.

Inquiries which were attended to include the following:

  • applications for social grants and identity documents,
  • Psychosocial support of people with disabilities and their families,
  • unemployment issues and placements in the workshops,
  • Residential facilities and school placement as well as applications for bursaries,
  • Application for assistive devises and RAF claims
  • Application for housing
  • Workman’s compensation claims

About 113 referrals were made to different government departments, law firms, schools, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, as well as other NGOs etc.  55 clients were placed in different places like residential homes, schools, open labour market and workshops. 15 clients received assistive devices from APD,BaragwanethHospital, Westbury and Hillbrow clinic. 2 clients were also assisted to get off the street by APD by sending them back to their homes, as they were from other provinces here inSouth Africa.

Poverty Alleviation

Reducing the levels of poverty by empowering PwD’s to establish and maintain income generating projects has always been a challenge.  There are currently, four income generation projects which are administered by APD social auxiliary workers 2 in Alexandra and one Coronation.  They are all running and 63 members and their families are benefiting.  38 meetings were held with the project members of the three projects.  The main focus of the projects is to empower the members with skills to set up and sustainable income generating projects.  However, there are challenges including selling of the product and learning disabilities of some of the members.  Other members are involved in the projects, specifically for their therapeutic purposes as they have mental disabilities.

Alexandra Sizakhele community project members are doing bead work, sewing and finishing eye patches projects continue.   They have made an income of R7000 from the sales of their products.

Community work project for the physically and mentally challenged still continues at Coronationville Care Centre and Workshop.  The bead work product (necklaces and bracelets) has been sold.  R400.00 has been generated and members managed to benefit from the income.

Sithandiwe disability care project in Alexandra for bead work is still functioning. The project is now affiliated to GPAPD. Table for selling of the product was approved at Green stone mall.

Education and Training

30 education and awareness programmes were conducted in Region B, E and F clinics, hospitals and other organizations during the period under review. Places where the awareness’s were conducted include: Helen Joseph Hospital, Usizo Oluntwini senior citizens, Coronationville, Crown Gardens clinic, Klipspruit, Joubert park, Clermont, Bosmont, Ebenhouse, Mayfair, Malvern and Alexandra F.M.  The aim was to inform the community about APD services, creating partnership with the clinics and hospitals for referral purposes, educating communities about the rights of people with disabilities and making people with disabilities aware of their rights.  Over 1000 people were reached through education and awareness programmes. Topics which were covered include APD services, rights of people with disabilities, care for people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, social work services.

Life Skills Development

To promote individual self – development and provide supportive services through a group work methods.  There are 3 support and life skills groups which were facilitated by social auxiliary workers in 2010/11.  37 group sessions were conducted by the workers.  70 members benefited from the group sessions and the beneficiaries consisted of adult women, men, youth and children with physical and intellectual disabilities.

The topics which were covered during group sessions include: Hygiene, social skills, Identification of different colours, self employment, disability and dating, reading the clock, self awareness and development, communication skills, problem solving, assertiveness training, anger management, decision – making, positive lifestyle, HIV/AIDS, health issues, language and disability.

The group members had two outings to JACOD and Johannesburg ZOO to facilitate group cohesion and for educational purposes.

One group which was conducted at women for peace has been running for more than a year and it was terminated. Initiation for starting another group has been made for extension 7 in Alexandra.

Staff Training

To enhance the education and development of social work personnel (social workers and social auxiliary workers) and to ensure a high standard of service delivery, the workers receive training in Trauma, Dementia, Mainstreaming and Mental Screening.


Networking is done at a local level with different Service Providers. This is done through forums and with individual contacts with the purpose of discovering resources, skills and knowledge available for us.

The Social Work Department represents APD at the Provincial Disability Forum hosted by the Department of Social Development – Provincial office, the Gauteng Welfare Social Service Development Forum, Region B Disability Forum and The City of Johannesburg Disability Forum. At Alexandra the Social auxiliary worker represent APD at the Service Providers Meetings.


  • Lack of funding for staff training and capacity building of community based organisations.
  • Lack of support from regional and local government structures to capacitate income generation projects.
  • High illiteracy rates in the townships and informal settlements, apathy with regards to community involvement and dependence on social grants.
  • Lack of available residential facilities for placing PwD’s during crisis and lack of adequate housing/ accommodation.
  • In accessibility of public schools for children with disabilities.
  • In accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities.
  • Lack of enough and functional computers and machinery, especially at Alexandra office.
  • A vehicle for staff to attend to emergencies.

Wheelchair Rental

Wheelchairs are available for rental.

Deposit: R500.00
Rental: R300.00 per month

Deposit is refundable (via EFT) on condition that the wheelchair is returned in good condition and payments are up-to-date!

Contact Sonja Botha on sonjab@apdjhb.co.za or 011 646 8331 or  contact Lorna Arnott on 011 646 8331 or at lornaa@apdjhb.co.za.