Darul Ta’zim Family Development Foundation (YPKDT) is ready to help people with disabilities (PWDs) in their efforts to look for a job across various industries.
YPKDT chief executive officer Nurul Naqiah Fadzil said the foundation had job coaches to support PWDs in areas such as manufacturing, hospitality and service industry.
“In the past two to three years, we successfully helped 13 PWDs, mostly those suffering from hearing and speech impairments, to secure jobs.
“A majority of them were placed in the hospitality industry, ” she said.
“The foundation uses an open employment model that provides PWDs and employers with job preparation and development as well as job matching services, which then leads to job placement and training.
“A job coach conducts follow-ups from time to time to check on the progress of a PWD as well as his or her employer.
“YPKDT aims to continue helping and empowering the disabled through programmes and training so that they can become independent and contribute to society, ” she said.
In 2017 and 2018, YPKDT started its Zero to Hero programme to provide skills training for PWDs.
Participants learnt how to prepare food and beverage products as well as carry out gadget repairs, depending on their area of interest.
“In 2019, we improved and rebranded the initiative as Training and Promotion Programme (PLP) to not only equip them with skills to generate their own income but also prepare them with the basics needed to enter the job market.
“Under PLP, participants can choose from different training modules such as landscaping, cleaning services, housekeeping and baking.
“Participants who do well in the training are given assistance in the form of equipment to help them produce better products or improve their service, ” she added.
Nurul Naqiah said about 150 people with various disabilities had participated in PLP since 2019 and 25 of them were given equipment such as machinery, baking equipment, freezers and laptops.
She acknowledged that job opportunities for PWDs were fewer following the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order.
“Nevertheless, we are still conducting online PLP and webinars to engage with PWDs and prepare them for the future.”
She urged PWDs to register with the foundation by visiting its main office in Kota Iskandar, Johor, or any of its district offices in the state to learn about opportunities for training and equipment assistance.
YPKDT can be reached at 07-266 6526.
Meanwhile, non-governmental organisation Recap Welfare Association Johor Baru (RWAJB) founder and chairman Kent Chu said RWAJB had been actively involved in job-matching PWDs with private companies.
He said many PWDs were eager to work but there were not many job opportunities or companies willing to hire them.
“While there had been successful job matches, some PWDs could not take the pressure and quit after a few days.
“It should be noted that this is not a case of one-size-fits-all.
“Some PWDs are slower in their movements so the job has to be modified slightly to suit their pace.
“Once they get the hang of it, they will perform well, ” he said.
It was more difficult for those with illnesses — such as kidney problems — to get jobs as they would need to take time off for dialysis about three times a week, he said, adding that these people were not recognised as PWDs by the government and were therefore not eligible for PWD benefits.
Chu highlighted the need for parents or caretakers to teach their PWD children about “safe touch” to protect themselves in the workplace and avoid untoward incidents.
“From my experience in dealing with PWDs, some of them may look like adults but mentally, they are like a nine-year-old child or even younger.
“This opens up the possibility of them being taken advantage of, so greater awareness and measures are needed to teach them to protect themselves, ” he stressed.
He encouraged parents or caretakers to get help or sign their PWD children up for skills training and courses at government agencies or PWD centres.
“I always advise them to let their children with disabilities learn to become independent so that one day when their parents are no longer around, they will have the ability to fend for themselves, ” he said.
At present, there are 73 community-based rehabilitation centres (PDK) in Johor, run by the Welfare Department, which provide care and rehabilitation for 2, 563 PWD trainees.