It has been undeniable that in our society especially in countries like Malaysia, the disabled have not been properly taken cared of. Everything right from the basic amenities to work opportunities for these less fortunate groups are being overlooked. To the general public, these people do not exist and that is truly a very sad case.

However, in this internet age, the disabled groups should take full advantage of this opportunity to make something out of it as the internet discriminates no one. Since an internet marketer could work from practically anywhere like in their own home, that has eliminated the physical challenge for the disabled in terms of transportation and travel.

On the psychological aspect, the disabled will usually tend to have lower self-confidence due to their disabilities and the public perception of them. But in the internet, one could sell his or her products without the need to reveal themselves physically. I have been a full time internet marketer for the last 8 years and I have never even once having to reveal my personal identity in order to sell. Yet I could still sell without any difficulties.

In the internet marketplace, it is the product that buyers are more interested in. Not so much on who the sellers are. As such, their disabilities will no longer be a major factor. Moreover, it is easier to take rejections in the internet compared to doing hard selling face-to-face. In the internet, it is the sales page (webpage) that will be doing the selling and taking the rejections. Not the business owners.

I have always believe that God is fair. Those that have physical disabilities are always compensated with other talents that normal people lacks. These people are very creative when it comes to arts and crafts. The internet is a very big marketplace that their wares could be sold on the internet instead of peddling them on the street or selling it cheaply to the retail outlets. The internet provides them the medium to get connected directly with the buyers. That way, they could reap all the full benefits and rewards. And not forgetting in a more scalable process too. They could setup their own online stores or sell their produces in Ebay. For Malaysian, other alternatives would be Mudah.com, Lelong.com, etc.

Today, I have the opportunity to speak on the phone briefly with Mr Moses Choo, the Assistant Executive Director of the National Council of the Blind, Malaysia. I am hoping that I could actually move one step further in creating awareness on the internet marketing to the community. If possible, I would like to get involved and explore further on how I can use internet marketing to teach these less fortunate groups to be more self-reliant, instead of just depending on others and the open employment. Everyone deserves a fair opportunity to survive. And what other better ways, than to impart my skills and knowledge to help them. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to see another person benefited greatly from my effort.

Actually, I’ve got to know Mr Moses from Penny Leong, one of our current IM participants who is also a volunteer with the disabled people like St. Nicholas. It was Penny who wanted to register some visually impaired friends to participate in our free evening IM program that triggered the whole idea. Eventually, she managed to identify a few places that have a computer training rooms that is handicapped friendly like in St.Nicholas and the YWCA. We still need to get approval to use these places and we will start off with a few participants initially and see how it goes from there. The IM training for them will be conducted in the morning as I will be fully occupied in the evening doing IM sessions with the normal folks. After dropping my children off to school every weekday, I am practically free the whole morning until noon.

In order to teach these disabled groups, the current method of teaching is no longer applicable. First, I need to know how these people learn because I have never had any experiences working with them. It is not a problem but more of a challenge. I would probably have a lot to learn from them too. To ensure the trainings are more effective, I will need to get more input from others on what is the best ways to go about it. Especially from people who have done it, and what better places to get those answers than to participate in such related internet forums. And hopefully, I could also get some comments and suggestions here as well.

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9 Comments on Internet Business for the Disabled and Less Fortunate

  1. Allan says:

    From my reading of Peter Tan’s blog at http://www.petertan.com/blog, a strong advocate for people with disability in Malaysia and a webmaster.

    Perhaps u might give him a buzz and see how things go from there (I’m just a reader of his blog).

    Honour to be the 1st commenter in your blog ! Thanks for the helping the community.

  2. Sin Dee says:

    shall we benchmark http://www.ehomemakers.net has been doing? They have been selling eco basket and now venturing into selling vege for homemakers.
    I view ‘physical disabled’ people as ‘people with great insight’ coz they are able to take challenge that we are not facing.
    Perhaps getting them to sell physical either through their personal website or a consolidated one(like the Ehomemaker) will be a start for them to venture out.
    I am not familiar with visually impaired people, but i can share what i know in selling physically products. St Nicholas is nearly to me, and i can be there in say once a week, a 1-2 hour session.
    Perhaps may need to setup the website for them, and let them maintain by uploading their goods.
    Hope this will help.

  3. Nitthya says:

    This is a very noble idea indeed… it will work out well! I would want to help out in whatever I could as service to the community as well… Count me in…

  4. Janice Tung says:

    A very good idea and challenging one indeed. Have checked out with a friend whom attached to BOLD Association for Children with Special Needs, Penang. I was told when we conduct courses for them, first we have to understand/identify their special needs and speed of learning. We might need some volunteers to give personalise attention before we can actually put them into groups.
    I can help out 1-2 hr per week.

  5. Alvin Cheong says:

    Firstly, thanks to everyone who has come forward to volunteer your time to do this community service.

    I will try to arrange a visit to St. Nicholas to understand them better. We will definitely need to repackage our training methods to suit them. I am currently toying with the idea of setting up an online store for them like what Sin Dee has mentioned. We will setup it up, then teach them how to utilize it to sell their products.

    When it comes to training them, we’ll need to setup a buddy system where we will appoint a volunteer for each participant.

  6. Raymond Ching says:

    Came across this site : https://www.afb.org/message_board_replies.asp?TopicID=18&FolderID=7 may be this can give some idea on to help the blind on computer/internet.

  7. Michael Yong says:

    It is a good idea! But I don’t have any experience about this šŸ™ , I can try to help out too.

  8. Penny says:

    Thanks for the response to commit time for our social responsibilities.
    I was 1 of the pioneer mums in eHomemaker which used to be known as mums4mum. It started out as a social group for mothers, single or otherwise to meet and exchange ideas, ask for advise regarding care for their newborns/children and move forward, perhaps earning pocket money, learning how to cook, etc. We realised that homemakers do need time out to socialise, albeit among ourselves. Once or twice, we managed to bring in speakers and such to motivate and encourage us to upgrade ourselves, chart the children’s future and look after the home. Tough job, really.
    Sad to say, the Pg group fizzled out, because of various factors. Now, I fancy this PECC program is above the rest in that each individual can chart their own destiny.
    Having worked with the disabled, it is as Alvin says. It’s painful to watch the total disregard of this bunch of intelligent and hardworking people scrape for decent work. There is hope now.

  9. Alvin Cheong says:

    Penny,
    Is there any way for me and a few other volunteers to visit St.Nicholas to understand better about them. I mean the way they earn their livings currently. Then from there we will be able to see which areas could be converted into internet marketing. Example, we can setup an online stores for them, then teach them how to drive traffic into that online stores to sell their products. I personally feels that they have the advantage because they could engage the press to promote for them since it is more towards community service for them too.

    Also we are fortunate to have Sin Dee who is very familiar with this business model, and she can share this idea.

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