We consider the acceptance of the income-generating
potential of a mentally disabled person as a hallmark of their
acceptance in society. The process is cyclical - successful
performance at work instills self-confidence; and the confident
person is viewed positively by society and is accepted easily.
Unfortunately, many people with mental disability are still
not provided with the necessary training, placement and other
supports to acquire market-driven skills, or to be placed
in an appropriate position or to be mentored through the early
stages of the job. At present, many of them are idle, or work
in jobs with earnings that do not reflect their capabilities.
This happens since the major employer, the NGO, is unable
to utilize their skills in a manner that leads to a self-sufficient
unit. Thus, sheltered workshops produce goods that are not
in keeping with the current market trends leading to poor
sales, enhancing unfortunately the myth that such persons
are not capapble of leading useful and productive lives.
Based on our experience of marketing and sales for over 5
years, the goal of the technical training institution was
reworked to provide training in trades that are economically