Our society is slowly starting to embrace people with special needs in the workforce by providing more and more job opportunities for them. This is a good thing as viewing and treating them as equals will help them boost not only their self-confidence but also their morale that they need!
Mohd Adli Yahya,52, was a former executive director for the Standard Charted Foundation, he is the father of an autistic child and he founded The Autism Café Project last August.
After his son, Muhammad Luqman, 18, was diagnosed with autism, he started worrying about his child’s future, just like any parent would.
The father of six decided it was time he does something for the special needs community, he quit his day job and open a café to help train special needs youths to be independent and earn an income.
“If I don’t do this now, when will I ever do it? I have six children but they will have their own lives and families to worry about. Who is going to take care of him when my wife and I are gone?”
Mohd Adli wants his son to be independent, even if he becomes a dishwasher. He may not be fully independent but Muhammad Luqman should be able to earn a living after working with his father.
“I have no regrets leaving my job to do this full-time.”
Certainly, there are plenty of training programs for autistic and special needs kids but there’s a gap that needs to be filled.
“Yes, they do provide training and life skills but who will provide them employment? They have to compete with the able-bodied. So, employers would be more inclined to hire us rather than them.”
Café Autism is currently operating at iM4U Sentral in Taman Perindustrian Puchong from 8.30 am – 12 pm on weekdays.
The café recently got the attention of netizens thanks to a local activist Syed Azmi‘s Facebook post about his experience visiting the café. His post has garnered over 5,000 shares and God knows how many patrons he has brought to the café with his post!
Apart from food, the café also sells merchandises to help fund their operations. Show you support by visiting them!
For more information, visit their Facebook page or contact Mohd Adli at 012-349 0813.