Solo, Central Java (ANTARA) - The Surakarta branch of the Indonesian disability rights organization -- Movement for Indonesian Deaf Welfare (Gerkatin) -- underscored the importance of facilitating people with disabilities to earn a livelihood and become economically independent.

"The lack of opportunities for people with disabilities to become economically independent is an issue we often encounter, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," Surakarta Gerkatin Branch Head Galih Saputro stated in Surakarta, Thursday.

As a disability rights organization, Gerkatin has a mission to educate and assist its members to achieve their fullest potential, he noted.

Saputro welcomed corporations committed to supporting people with disabilities to regain their personal and economic independence, particularly through the online marketplace Shopee, which provided digital business classes for disabled individuals on the occasion of International Day of Sign Languages, commemorated every September 23.

"The training class, provided by the online marketplace Shopee, is a good start to educate and encourage the deaf community to participate in the emerging digital business. We also need to collaborate with other parties and assist more communities," Saputro remarked.

The Surakarta Gerkatin branch head expressed optimism that Shopee's training class, commencing in October 2021, would attract the deaf community to enter the digital business.

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Indira Maritha, a member of the deaf community that participated in the Shopee digital business training, drew attention to the difficult situation often faced by the Surakarta deaf community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Some of us who had lost our jobs are struggling to look for new job opportunities. Some of the others attempted to open a business, but they are also struggling," Maritha noted.

She pointed to the lack of accessible online business knowledge and information that had impeded them from starting an online business.

"We are glad Shopee provided a learning opportunity for us, as we could bring the information to the deaf community where we could continue the discussion and sharing our business ideas," Maritha affirmed.

Meanwhile, Head of the Public Affairs Department of Shopee Indonesia Radynal Nataprawira stated that the company had striven to expand its network to reach more communities, including the deaf community.

"We believe everyone deserves an equal opportunity and access regardless of their background or physical ability. When we discussed this issue with Gerkatin, we discovered that the deaf community was struggling to look for job opportunities, and they have zero knowledge about online business," Nataprawira stated.

To facilitate more communities to participate in online business, Shopee is glad to provide business classes for the deaf community, as they will have more choices to explore new opportunities and regain their economic independence, he noted.

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Translator: Aris Wasita, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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