An association of like-minded people who come together to share ideas and resources, discuss, plan and work towards the common goal of enabling people with disabilities to develop their work potential and obtain suitable and sustainable employment.


IPDM was started in the late 70’s to provide a uniform platform for all organisations, companies and individuals seeking solutions to the many challenges associated with employing people with disabilities.

IPDM was registered as a welfare organisation in 1982 and successfully transferred to a non-profit organisation in 2001.


IPDM’S key focus is the facilitation of collaboration within the Disability Sector as it relates to the economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.

By convening regular meetings where employers, persons with disabilities and experts in their field discuss, share ideas and disseminate information on issues relating to

  • Education
  • Work preparedness
  • Employment in the open labour market


To promote the economic empowerment of people with disabilities to secure suitable and sustainable employment.


To contribute towards a transformed economy where people with disabilities are fully supported and included

In adhering to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, IPDM promotes the rights of persons with disabilities to work (Article 27) by participating in awareness-raising activities (Article 8).

IPDM also promotes the right to access to information which in South African legislation is known as the right to know and was enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights (Section 32) (1996).This adheres to Article 4 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), in which the state undertakes to provide accessible information to persons with disabilities (UN, 2006).


Shanaaz Abdol

Shanaaz Abdol


Shanaaz Abdol, Managing Director of Altitude Skills Development (Pty) Ltd (ASD), has been involved in the Disability Sector for several years.

In addition to her job as ASD’s Managing Director, Shanaaz has recently completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town.

For many years Shanaaz has been active in managing learnerships for persons with disabilities through companies such as Extrinsic and ASD. ASD’s mission to strive for equality in the workplace for the Disabled Community in Cape Town has become her own as she continues striving for equality not just with employment but in a broader, all-inclusive sense. She has become a paragon of Disability Equality in the Workforce.

Cheryl Harper

Cheryl Harper

Vice Chairperson/HR

An activist during the apartheid years, Cheryl Harper is a qualified Social Worker, Teacher, HR Consultant, Marketing, Sales & PR Consultant, Financial Consultant, Advertising Consultant and passionate connector in the social & environmental development arena.

Disability is an area that Cheryl is particularly passionate about, as her sister is a resident at Camphill Farm, Hermanus. She is the founder of WeCanChangeOurWorld which was launched six years ago. WeCanChange is an online media & news platform to showcase and facilitate collaboration between the stakeholders: Government, Business, NGO’s/NPO’s and Service Providers for the greater good for all the people in South Africa & the world.

She uses her position in WeCanChange, her huge networks, connections and partnerships to make a real difference. Cheryl is honoured to be an executive member and serve as the vice-chair on the board of IPDM and through her connections, she will drive the promotion of Disabled Manpower to all businesses, organizations and Government in South Africa.

Saadiqah Ariefdien

Saadiqah Ariefdien


Saadiqah Ariefdien is a 26 year old BCom student at Unisa specialising in Human Resource Management and Finance.

Her passion is to empower persons living with disabilities and providing them with a purpose and allowing them to realise their full potential in order for them to contribute positively towards society.

She is also a wife and mother and her 7 year old son is the reason she wakes up every morning and realise her purpose.

Her business has overcome the 5 year small business fail point hurdle which is a huge achievement.

Saadiqah's goal is to start a training facility for woman with disabilities to enable them to gain the confidence and drive to start their own businesses and realise their passion.

She wants to encourage these women to start a
business that would help provide and secure their future. Living with a father that has a disability has made her realise her passion and she is extremely grateful for all his teachings and guidance.

Fierosa Van Rooi

Fierosa Van Rooi

Board Member

Fierosa is employed at Cape Town Association for the Physically Disabled as a Community Development Practitioner/Job Placement Officer for the past 10 years.

Her focus is to facilitate economic empowerment for persons with disabilities. Placement of persons with disabilities does not happen often, but when there is a success story it really is good to know that you are making a difference in the life of another human being.

Her studies in Human Resources Management was done part-time and she went on to join the Training Department within local government. She facilitated Induction training for new employees and left the city after graduating in 2000.

Fierosa also volunteered as a counsellor for abused women and children in her community. Her main contribution to IPDM would be the fact that she understands the Disability Sector and would like for IPDM to grow and to become financially stable and not only be dependent on government subsidies.

Cleone Jordan

Cleone Jordan

Staff - Administrator

Cleone has a corporate background and as a person with a disability she has been gainfully employed in the open labour market since 2001.

In 2010 she left the corporate field and became involved in the disability sector at a grass roots level. Cleone was involved in peer support programmes which were aimed at educating and training people with mobility impairments to improve their health and the quality of their lives. She facilitated support groups for women who had recently become disabled and who were at their final stages of rehabilitation.

She also facilitated HIV/AIDS programmes and workshops to combat the spread of the disease among people with disabilities.

Cleone offered time and services to community and charitable organizations, Lions Club (2007-10) and was awarded fund-raiser of the year (2009). In 2011 she joined IPDM and works as Administrator for the organisation. She recently earned her MPhil degree in Disability Studies from UCT and is passionate about social entrepreneurship.

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson

Board Member

Natalie is a woman with a disability from a previously disadvantaged background.

She has extensive experience as an Administrator/Secretary/Personal Assistant/Project Manager working in the Corporate sector and the last sixteen years in National Government.

In 2011 she was selected by Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA) to be part of their mentorship training programme which was totally voluntary and ran for 3 years (2011 – 2013).

Natalie is an entrepreneur helping others build their business and is also pursuing a career in fundraising, with Disabled Peoples’ Organisations as her primary focus area. Natalie is passionate about uplifting the lives of persons with disabilities.

She has been a board member since 2016 and believes that her skills set and experience can contribute towards IPDM’s mandate. She is able to commit to the activities that would be expected of her by IPDM such as the Board Meetings and Capacity Building Meetings. Natalie was recently appointed as Co-ordinator of the WC Network on Disability.

Gavin Maggott

Gavin Maggott

Board Member

Gavin Maggott Gavin has been involved in the Disability sector for the past 30 years.

He worked at Old Mutual for 10 years doing financial and retirement planning and helped with community development projects (computer training for Wheelchair users).

He was a board member for Turfhall Cheshire Homes and then for Cape Town APD. From 1997 -2005 Gavin was a director at Rollability that later merged with CE Moblity (Mobility Specialist).

He worked with Motivation UK on Active Rehab in Africa for several years and was also a Business owner in the retail sector.

In 2011 Gavin again became involved in the Disability sector with QASA Rolling Positive project and later he worked for Western Cape Network on Disability (disability awareness). Currently he is with DWDE in Claremont doing Disability Empowerment as national Job coach (recruitment and support services).

He played sport such as basket ball, athletics, table tennis, hand-cycling and enjoyed participating in fun runs and Fund Raising.

Rustim Ariefdien

Rustim Ariefdien

Board Member

Rustim is a Disability Expert Extraordinaire. He assists businesses to “let the Ability of disAbilityenAble their profitAbility”.

He achieves this through the BBBEE elements of the score card; skills development, employment equity and socio-economic development. He ensures that businesses are able to maximize their points on the BBBEE scorecard and become compliant to legislative requirements as laid out in the Employment Equity and Skills Development Acts.

Rustim’s purpose is the economic empowerment of persons with disability in Africa. Himself a person born with a disability, Rustim has extensive experience in the development and empowerment of persons with disability being well networked in business, government and civil society. As an entrepreneur Rustim has owned and spawned numerous enterprises specializing in Disability Economic Empowerment. Rustim is currently engaged in his Masters at UCT in Disability Studies where his mission is to add to the body of knowledge for disability.

Wendy Nefdt

Wendy Nefdt

Board Member

Wendy is the Director of Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape and she has been with the organization for 17 years. Her core business in partnership with her management teams is developing appropriate social and economic development services to persons with disabilities. For the past 6 years, she was instrumental in the development of integrated skills and learnershipprogrammes for all persons with disabilities. These programmes have impacted on the lives of more 1000 people and their families.

Wendy qualified with a degree in Social Work at the University of the Western Cape and completed her Masters in NPO governance at the University of Stellenbosch. She is currently registered for her PhD at the University of Cape Town in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine- Health and Human Rights programme. Her qualifications and knowledge in the disability sector has shaped vision for the achievement and realization of social and economic rights for persons with disabilities. She has participated in and shared her expertise with various forums and networks including the WC Network for Persons with Disabilities, IPDM, the WC Directors Forum and the Learning Network for Health and Human Rights at UCT.