Grab took the opportunity and turned the spotlight on our persons-with-disabilities (PWD) community who are also merchant-partners on GrabFood, along with the International Week of The Deaf to honor hearing-impaired individuals.
These businesses and individuals are a shining example of how persistence and willpower can help one through anything as long as the way forward is paved with optimism and positive attitude.
Apart from providing career opportunities and an avenue to earn their bread and butter, these community-oriented enterprises act as a learning outlet to upskill the disabled community.
Did you know there is a cafe run by individuals who are hearing impaired in Ipoh?
The popular vegan-friendly cafe, Vegan Delights serves a variety of meat-free food, from appetizers to entrées and desserts, and they employ staff who are hearing impaired including those with mental health conditions.
Its owner, Teh Boon Yeong said it has always been his mission to give the differently-abled a chance to work, to pave a way for improving livelihood. The PWD community has been in the shadows and shunned by society for far too long.
“In Malaysia, the PWD community is often underestimated due to their disabilities. Regardless of gender, creed or ability, they deserve a chance to live a happy and fulfilling life, as well as support themselves financially,” he said.
Hoping his action will grease the wheels of change and encourage other businesses into joining his endeavour as well as help build a supportive community, Boon Yeong aims to empower the PWD community by providing them job opportunities and onboarding the business to inclusive platforms like Grab.
As most of the employees are differently-abled, miscommunication is inevitable, especially when dealing with customers. However, Boon Yeong said they would often improvise and think of new ways to tackle the communication barriers.
“When customers inquire about the menu, our staff may not be able to explain to them effectively, so we will make little adjustments from time to time such as updating the menu with pictures of every meal listed to ensure efficient communication between them.
He said that opening the doors to employment will benefit them for the long haul. They will acquire hands-on experience as they interact with the customers and develop communication competency which will ultimately allow them to feel confident about themselves.
“Being considerate of their needs and how they learn, even a few simple sign language words and phrases that you can pick up really goes a long way in helping the PWD community gain more confidence. Don’t devalue or marginalize them because everyone deserves equal treatment,” he stressed.
When asked how it feels to be a partner of GrabFood, Boon Yeong said he is glad that Grab has always supported the PWD community and has also given merchants like them a chance to aid them. “It has definitely helped us grow and sustain our business through deliveries, not to mention helping so many people to earn a living. We have been able to remain open with deliveries and takeaways during this pandemic.”