Challenges for products of people with disabilities when accessing the market

By Rusnee Chelong and Aly Jan nah

Persons with disabilities are increasingly being identified as a result of a variety of challenges, and they are at risk of being marginalised in society.

“It is hard for them to sell it to the community that is still with the old perception. In their perspective, the handicraft should be cheaper than the other handicrafts.”

Mrs. Wan Nur Akmal Binti Wan Ibrahim, the manager of PPDK Wakaf Tapai told this during a recent webinar when discussing Sustainable Consumption and Production with disability inclusion in the tourism industry. 

She stated that, established in 2006, PPDK Wakaf Tapai has been a voluntary organisation to help the local disabled in Terengganu. 

She shared, “Our organisation is special only for the disabled community, the workers are coming from the PwD community and we will train them for at least three months to ensure they know the basics of packing a bag.”

Talking about the product, Mrs. Wan Nur Akmal shared, “The majority of our products are bags (ketupat bags) with the material protecting the environment such as fabrics. It can be recycled and reused many times.” 

She said currently, they are using Indonesia batik as a material to make bags because it brings uniqueness and suitable for the target market overseas.

”In 2017, we started with Shopee, and then we have developed a platform shopping called ‘Camdy’. This is an opportunity to help us gained orders from overseas such as Germany, France, Australia, Belgium and other countries,” she added

In the session, Wan Nur Akmal emphasised the importance of the community’s perception of the product made by the disabled people.

“The community does not highly appreciate handmade products by the disabled people. This is the main challenge our organisation is facing,” she highlighted.

She further pointed out that a major obstacle facing disabled’s products is the customers’ request when they want a handicraft product done quickly, with the best quality at ‘a cheap price’. She added that to overcome this obstacle would depend on long-term education of the community.

As a manager of the organisation, she believes that PPDK Wakaf Tapai plays a very important role in helping the disabled.

She also hoped that they will get support from society as such support is the best way to help people with disabilities in their work.

The webinar was organised by IIUM students Fatini and Iman from the Professional Speech Communication (COMM 3090) class. ***

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