Presentation at E2 Connect: Benefits & Challenges for a Person with Disability Working in Digital Marketing
This is a continuation from part one of SEOciety’s presentation at the E2 Connect conference.
What do you think persons with disabilities can work as? That was the question that Boon Keng asked the attendees to start off his presentation. People often have the misconception that persons with disabilities can only work in the area of IT work, sales or customer service. However, persons with disabilities can work in a diverse range of areas if given the opportunity and adequate support. Employment for disabled can be in almost any area. He brought in a few examples of the different work that his friends do, from national athlete to museum guide.
Boon Keng actually used to be against working in the area of IT due to this stereotype on the employment for disabled. He wanted to prove to people that persons with disabilities are able to work in any or most areas. With this, he went on to pursue his passion in psychology and social work. However, it was his own apprehensions on his physical abilities that stopped him from eventually entering the social work profession. He did not know whether he can carry out the various tasks as a social worker with his declining muscle functions.
This was the journey before joining SEOciety that Boon Keng initially shared on stage. He then moved on to share about his journey with SEOciety, the benefits and challenges of working in digital marketing. The sharing revolved around the power of the internet in enabling accessibility. In Boon Keng’s opinions, the internet is a platform for persons with disabilities to access the community and world around us without much barriers to accessibility.
The internet is the biggest ‘benefit’ of digital marketing. In the area of digital marketing, almost everything you need to learn and know is available online. You can start working anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and a laptop (or sometimes, even a smartphone will do). This allows Boon Keng and his colleagues (also persons with disabilities) to conveniently work from home with a click of the mouse. There is no need to spend money, time and energy to travel to work or class.
However, it is not all that rosy in digital marketing and Boon Keng’s work from home. He shared the two challenges he faced at work:
• Distractions are aplenty when you work from home
• Interactions with people are reduced in such working arrangement
To address these challenges, he pointed out that anyone working from home in digital marketing must be highly self-disciplined to deal with distractions and the responsibilities at hand. It is also important for the company to figure out a way to cultivate the team identity and spirit despite employees mostly working solo at home. Ideally, the team can physically meet together every once a month or two.
Jing Yan added on that employment for disabled can be easy. There are many organisations (such as SG Enable and Singapore Centre For Social Enterprise) and resources out there to help enterprises get started with their cause. So why not start thinking of hiring persons with disabilities in your company?