A support group of parents of mentally disabled children based in Chennai has embarked on a new adventure: securing employment opportunities for children.
Towards the creation of an inclusive workplace, VOICE (Voice of Parents for Inclusion, Care and Empowerment of Children With Special Needs) facilitates the employment of people with disabilities, parents of these young adults and able-bodied people.
KNSOFT Technologies, a Hyderabad-based startup, is the first company that has partnered with VOICE to provide work-from-home opportunities to over 80 people, including 10 neurodiverse people, 20 special moms and the rest being people in the need.
Mano Rajini, one of the directors of VOICE, says that they have launched this opportunity in the different WhatsApp groups, inviting people to join.
“There are quotas for people with disabilities, but we have noticed that without support they do not meet the employer’s expectations. Often a person with different abilities feels isolated in a new environment, so here we have special moms and volunteers who help us integrate the special adult, like in a buddy system, ”says Rajini.
She says volunteers are the backbone of this initiative. “They could be students, housewives or retirees who would support and earn a salary in the process,” says Rajini.
Data entry projects have many takers. Another project in preparation includes GIS mapping in Google Maps.
Dasaradh Kosana, CEO of KNSOFT Technologies, said they have started working with special adults since August and plan to expand it depending on how many new gigs they get.
“On October 24, we are opening a branch in Chennai so that those on our lists are free to work from our space if they wish,” Dasaradh said.
He says they always streamline various processes and those working on a project will receive salaries based on their performance.
“The instructions on what to do are done mainly with the support of volunteers. 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 working remotely and people with disabilities will certainly benefit from the arrangement if they are given some support.
Mothers of Specter Children Mangai Alwar and Santhiya Sundar say one of the main challenges adults with special needs face is having difficulty socializing and understanding instructions. “My son, Rohan, has mood swings and needs my help; this opportunity to work at home allows him to work at his own pace and at his own pace without too much pressure, ”explains Santhiya. Rohan has been working for two months and is paid according to the “number of files” he completes.
Mangai’s son found his feet running a web design website. “But sometimes he struggles to understand the logic behind certain processes and that’s where I get involved,” says Mangai.
Rakshakanathan AN, a final year undergraduate student and team member, applied for the job to supplement family income after her mother lost her job. “I work four hours a day and step in when others ask for help,” he says.
Voice started with 10 parents and grew to almost 1,000.