Enabling the Disabled

Planting Seeds of Hope
March 12, 2014

L ast week, I received a call from Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) inviting Cycle Trend to participate in the OKU (“Orang Kurang Upaya”) Job Fair programme at Auto City. I was both honoured and embarrassed to have received the call – honoured, because it is a privilege to be invited by such a reputable company as JCI to participate in the project; but I was also embarrassed, because the thought of hiring people with disabilities had never crossed my mind before.

Work is fundamental to the human experience. It gives our lives purpose. Most disabled people want to work, but – physical barriers aside – the negative employer attitudes they face are often very discouraging. Yet they deserve the same rights to education, employment and healthcare as the rest of us.

JCI’s programme at Auto City is aimed at changing the perspective of employers about people with disabilities so that they will be regarded as a valuable source of human capital. I am happy to say that it certainly changed opened my eyes.

Corporate Social Responsibility is all about a company’s ability to take public affairs into account when making business decisions. Cycle Trend does this by benchmarking itself to quality management standards that cover all these areas including social, environmental, occupational health and safety indicators. Our Integrated Management System aligns our business interests with those of our stakeholders – employees, customers and the public. By having a new policy of hiring people with disabilities, we’d like to think that we are setting a new standard in corporate governance among Malaysian recycling firms.

Work life is a learning experience. Even if you own a company, there’s a lot you can learn from your employees, even if they are disabled. Indeed, especially if they are disabled – the newest members to the Cycle Trend family from the OKU Job Fair are proving this.

The disabled community has not failed the business community. It is the business community who has failed them.

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