School of Creative Business
Invisible Disability – Empowering Silence!
A small step towards productive avenues and economically sustainable solutions for the hearing-impaired in the apparel manufacturing industry for a better society
An alumnus of Pearl Academy and now a Senior Product Development Merchandizer, Saurabh talks about Invisible Disability, Hearing Impaired people – the least tapped yet the most efficient section in the apparel sector, through his thesis project. The project specifically targets, explains and establishes the viability of tis section as sewing operators in the Delhi & NCR’s Apparel Manufacturing Industry.
In a pilot project conducted on skill requirements for entry-level jobs in Delhi NCR by Saurabh, the apparel manufacturing industry has been identified as one of the foremost in offering employment opportunities for the hearing –impaired. While the industry faces severe labour shortage, it has not taken steps to bridge the gap between the high employment demand and utilizing the ‘unemployed yet employable’ individuals, in this case the hearing impaired.
This has led to Saurabh’s next research, that of understanding existing employment in terms of employee turnover, skill requirement, productivity, efficiency with a conclusion that the majority of the bottlenecks towards their employment were psychological and not physical, generating in the mind-sets of employers, co-workers and the disabled themselves. The research also conveys the absence of correct knowledge base and suggests educating the industry and society to reduce discrimination.
Saurabh’s research also suggests that the hearing-impaired are least distracted, highly motivated and indicate capacities of high retention, making them at par or better than the hearing labour in the industry. The hearing-impaired may lack skills which can be taught and developed. But, relentless pursuit of profit and misconceptions about disability prevent their acceptance as employees. Sensitization of employers and co-workers in the apparel sector is the way out.
“The time I spent at Pearl Academy took me beyond learning basic skills; it made me think, reflect and look at prevailing conditions in a different perspective. The faculty members at Pearl ignited in me the desire to infuse change and create better working conditions for the labour employed in the apparel industry. If I have achieved in making even a small percentage of the members of this industry to consider my proposal, I will feel that I have achieved something worthwhile.” says Saurabh.