Fulbright alumna strives for an inclusive community for differently abled persons

On Friday, May 4, 2018, Fulbright alumna Tayyaba Azeem, founder of SpeakUp!, organized a coaching session for Differently Abled Persons (DAP) with the support of USEFP at its Karachi premises. The session was attended by DAPs from different educational backgrounds and interests and facilitated by a fully-trained sign language interpreter from ConnectHear.

The coaching session was aimed at providing DAPs and employers a common platform to exchange important information regarding the job market and the recruitment process. The session helped DAPs highlight some of the problems they encountered while seeking employment and integrating into the workforce.

Joining Ms. Azeem, were leading industry recruiters, including Regional Sales Manager at Nestle Pakistan, Mr. Umair Ahmed, and Senior Management Consultant at Business Partnerz, Ms. Nousheen Rasheed, who shared firsthand knowledge about their hiring process. A very useful activity conducted by the recruiters was the mock interview, where Mr. Ahmed and Ms. Rasheed simulated an actual job interview to give the participants insight into the kind of questions they could expect and the appropriate response.


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 Recruiters from Nestle and Business Partnerz conducting a mock interview

Recruiters from Nestle and Business Partnerz conducting a mock interview

Describing how SpeakUp! is helping create a strong support system for DAPs, Ms. Azeem said “There is a perception that DAPs can succeed in life through sheer will power. However, a support system can help DAPs go a long way. SpeakUp! is an initiative that empowers Differently Abled Persons. SpeakUp! organizes events to bring together companies and DAPs so that they understand each other’s needs and requirements. We also provide one-on-one help with resumes and we teach hard skills such as MS Excel and MS Word that will help DAPs in their careers.”

Talking about the SpeakUp! Facebook page, Ms. Azeem, mentioned that she and her team are “building a DAPs community and are creating video content to promote inclusion”. The page is a useful resource that keeps its members updated on job opportunities, events, and important news related to DAPs. The page can be accessed here.

Photo credits: SpeakUp! Facebook page.