Chennai

Support group for the differently-abled offers employment opportunities

A Chennai-based support group of parents of children with intellectual disabilities has embarked on a new journey – ensuring employment opportunities for the children.

Towards creating an inclusive workplace, VOICE (Voice of Parents for Inclusion, Care and Empowerment of Children With Special Needs) is facilitating employment for the differently-abled, parents of such young adults and able-bodied individuals.

KNSOFT Technologies, a Hyderabad-based startup, is the first company that has associated with VOICE to offer work from home opportunities for more than 80 people, which includes 10 neuro-diverse individuals, 20 special moms, and the remaining being individuals in need.

Mano Rajini, one of the admins in VOICE, says they floated this opportunity in the various WhatsApp groups, inviting people to join.

“There are quotas for the differently-abled but we noticed that without support they do not meet the expectations of the employer. Many a time, a differently-abled individual feels isolated in a new environment, so here we have special moms and volunteers helping us integrate the special adult, as in a buddy system,” says Rajini.

She says volunteers are the backbone of this initiative. “They could be college students, homemakers or retired people who would lend support and earn a salary in the process,” says Rajini.

Projects in data entry has many takers. Another project in the pipeline include GIS Mapping in Google Maps.

Dasaradh Kosana, CEO, KNSOFT Technologies, says they started working with special adults since August and plan to scale it up depending on how many new gigs they get.

“On October 24, we are opening a branch office in Chennai so that those on our rolls will be free to work from our space if they wish to,” says Dasaradh.

He says they are still streamlining various process and those working on any project will be paid salaries based on their output.

“Instructions on what needs to be done is carried out mainly with volunteers’ support. We also have a quality team that checks the completed work,” he says.

Dasaradh says the pandemic has made it possible for people to explore remote work and the differently-abled are sure to benefit from the arrangement if they receive some support.

Mangai Alwar and Santhiya Sundar, mothers of children on the spectrum, say that one of the main challenges that special needs adults face is having difficulty in socialising and understanding instructions. “My son, Rohan, has mood swings and needs some help from me; this work from home opportunity allows him to work at his own pace and time without much pressure,” says Santhiya. Rohan has been working for the last two months and is paid based on the “number of files” he completes.

Mangai’s son has been finding his feet by running a web designing website. “But sometimes he has difficulty in understanding the logic behind certain processes and that is where I pitch in,” says Mangai.

Rakshakanathan A N, a final-year undergraduate student and a member of the team, applied for the job to supplement his family income after his mother lost her job. “I work four hours a day and pitch in when others seek help,” he says.

Voice started with 10 parents and has grown to nearly 1,000.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 3:43:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/support-group-for-the-differently-abled-offers-employment-opportunities/article37148180.ece

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