THE Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa here has taken the unusual step of employing the visually impaired in their workforce.
Speaking to the New Straits Times, resort general manager Indra Gandhi Rengasamy Pillai said the resort had no issues in employing those with partial or total vision impairment.
“We think of them as differently-abled because we have noticed that their hearing and other senses are sharp,” she said.
Indra said five employees in this category were working in different sections of the resort and they were performing as well as anybody else.
She added that since they had undergone training with the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB), they had become experts in their field.
“What is remarkable is their focus to their tasks and good performance. I think our treating them well without differentiating them from the rest of the workforce creates an atmosphere where all want to play their part in the overall scheme of things.”
Indra said the most common barrier to employment of the visually impaired was a negative attitude by employers.
“Employer knowledge is limited on how people who are visually impaired can perform basic job tasks,” she said.
She said the resort was now looking at employing former drug addicts.
One of the staff, Nurul Izzacy Natasha Ali, 26, became partially blind at the age of 12. She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which is an eye disease that causes cells in the retina to die.
She started working at the resort two weeks ago as a food and beverage assistant. She has a degree in psychology from Kolej Universiti Islam, Melaka, and a diploma in chemical engineering technology from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia.
“I’m indeed delighted to have been given a job at this resort and the management takes good care of me,” she said.
Working in the resort, she said, was like being in a family as colleagues treated her as a sibling.
Source : NST