Thursday, October 18, 2007

Employers need to look into basic facilities for disabled folks

We just need a little help: Some of the physically challenged folks who will undergo training at the Armour Security Systems (M) Sdn Bhd.



THERE would be more job opportunities for the physically challenged if companies have a barrier-free working place for them.

Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled care and employment head Ivy Pua said among the problems faced by the disabled when trying to get a job is the lack of accessibility to public transportation and to the workplace itself.

“People who are wheelchair-bound can’t work in an office that does not have lifts even if the employer are willing to employ them,” said Pua.

The lack of qualification is also a problem as they faced the same accessibility problems in schools and colleges.

“It’s not that there are no jobs for us but getting there may be a problem. Some work places are not disabled friendly,” said Carol Rasiah, 40, who is wheelchair-bound and sold sweets in the area around her Kepong home to earn money.

Lee Boon Kiat, 23, from Kuala Selangor said it was hard to access the toilets at his previous workplace, as he was wheelchair-bound.

“It’s also hard to stay in a permanent job because we fall sick more often than other employees,” he said.

Chan Sin Wai, 25, can walk and talk but he has Tourette syndrome, a nerve disorder that causes him to have sudden involuntary twitching and utterance of sounds.

“I can’t drive because of my disorder and I only have a narrow selection of jobs like telemarketing for things like credit cards and insurance,” he said.

However, Chan often changed jobs because he could not cope with having to meet a monthly target, as with most telemarketing jobs.

Recognising these problems, the Pudu Rotary Club had taken a proactive step by having a vocational job training and placement programme for these individuals.

Armour Security Monitoring Sdn Bhd will provide full vocational training to about six people who are physically challenged for three months, paying each an allowance of RM600 per month.

Upon completion, they will be offered a permanent job if they are able to perform their respective tasks.

Assistant general manager Ching Eng Seong said jobs like data entry or monitoring of the security systems were suitable for the disabled and he hopes to train more people in future.

“We hope that other NGOs and potential employers will offer this type of training and job placement for other disabled individuals so that they can gain financial independence,” said project chairman Gary Lim Beng Huat.

“By being financially independent, they can regain their self-esteem and confidence,” said Kg Tunku assemblyman Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou who launched the programme at Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur recently.

Companies that have job or training opportunities for the physically challenged can contact United Voice (03-7958 8069), Beautiful Gate (Ivy Pua 03-7873 6579), Malaysian Association for the Blind (Zainuddin Jasmi 03-2272 2677) or the Kiwanis Job Training Centre (Goh Siew Eng 03-7954 3361 or 012-658 2992).

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Saturday, October 13, 2007










Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cross-country: Disabled get jobs with club's help

Chan Sin Wei has Tourette’s Syndrome

KUALA LUMPUR: With his involuntary spasms and occasional shrieks, it is not easy for 25-year-old Chan Sin Wei to land a job.

But thanks to the Pudu Rotary Club, Chan, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, can now look forward to a six-month vocational stint with Armour Security Monitoring Sdn Bhd.

Chan and six other physically disabled individuals were matched to the company by the Pudu Rotary Club after they were referred by homes like the Beautiful Gate Foundation For the Disabled, United Voice, Malaysian Association of the Blind and Kiwanis Job and Training Centre and Kiwanis Job and Training Centre Slow Learner.

Since receiving his diploma in marketing five years ago, Chan had held many jobs but his contracts were not renewed due to his condition.

The longest he spent on a job was nine months and he has been unemployed for the past four months.

“It has always been hard for people to accept my condition. Kids were mean to me at school and teachers made me sit on my own because they thought I was distracting the class,” he said at the launch of the Pudu Rotary Club’s Vocational Job Training and Placement for Physically Challenged Youth.

Kelana Jaya state assemblyman Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou officiated at the launch at the Shangri-La Hotel here yesterday.

The RM600 allowance Chan would be getting during his training stint would come in handy as currently he volunteers at the Beautiful Gate recycling centre in Petaling Jaya. The foundation provides him with meals but he has to rely on his savings for other things.

Under the training programme, Chan and the others would monitor the closed-circuit security cameras and perform clerical duties. The company will consider hiring them after the six-month period, based on their performance.

Beautiful Gate’s job placement officer Ivy Pua said despite the tax incentives given to companies that hired disabled workers, many disabled people remained unemployed.

“There are many reasons for this, including inaccessibility to public transport, insufficient disabled-friendly facilities and equipment, and the disabled person’s inability to handle the job,” Pua said.

She said the lack of qualifications and a poor command of the English language also contributed to their low rate of employment.

Beautiful Gate Foundation For the Disabled job placement officer Ivy Pua says many disabled remain unemployed.

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