Employment enables us to be independent, but jobs that cater to special needs individuals are hard to come by. With the right support, however, they can stand on their own two feet and contribute society. Here are four organisations that offer opportunities for the disabled.
Bake With Dignity
Bake With Dignity (BWD) is a social enterprise set up by Dignity and Services (D&S) in 2007 to teach special needs youths how to bake and cook. Their bakery at Leisure Commerce Square in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, currently employs nine youths with autism and Down Syndrome.
Depending on their abilities, the young bakers weigh the ingredients, roll the dough, mix the filling for pastries, do piping and icing, cook food on an actual stove and wash up after that. For details, call Helen at 010-2881201, go to dignityandservices.org or facebook.com/bakewithdignity.
Project Differently-Abled by Gamuda
In 2013, Gamuda embarked on its Project Differently-Abled (DA) programme aimed at creating employment for individuals with autism. Over the years, they have hired 20 differently-abled staff between the ages of 21 and 39, whose tasks range from research to clerical work.
In 2017, Gamuda established its Enabling Academy to prepare more people with autism for gainful and sustainable employment. So far, 50 youths with autism have undergone training at the academy. For details, call 03-77108800 or email email@example.com.
The Society of Families of Persons with Learning Difficulties
The Society of Families of Persons with Learning Difficulties (Perkobp) was formed in 1992 by a group of about 25 families who wanted to ensure those with learning disabilities had vocational skills to rely on.
Today, Perkobp has 300 members. At their home centre in Jalan Puchong, Kuala Lumpur, youths receive training to do packing work while developing other skills. Over the years, some 60 members have entered the workforce. For details, call 03-7781 6467 or 016-2928438.
Autism Cafe Project
If you’re at SACC Mall in Shah Alam, check out Kantin Komuniti by Autism Cafe Project (ACP). ACP founder Mohd Adli Yahya set up the project to enable people with autism to be entrepreneurs. It is operated by 21 youths with autism, assisted by their parents.
The canteen is inside Headstart Academy, which offers early intervention programmes, therapy services and extracurricular activities designed for special needs children. They sell a range of food items like biscuits, pastries and nasi lemak. For details, go to facebook.com/pg/Autismcafeproject.