Leung Yuk Chen is an employee of Rinato Eco Floral Shop. Her major duties include promoting products to customers and make floral products. Many customers appreciate and admire her floral designs. Ah Chen is hardworking and motivated in learning, she not only attend training seriously but also attends extra classes to polish her floral design skills in her free time. The recognition of customers and her colleagues boosted Ah Chen’s self-confidence, proving that employees with disabilities can also unleash their potentials at work — Ah Chen actually has hearing difficulties.
Ah Chen realized her hearing problems after her youngest daughter was born. She tried to use hearing aids but they turned out to be quite useless so she then chose to hide the fact that she has hearing difficulties, worrying that she would be negatively labeled. She worked in a telephone company a few years ago that she had to guess what her boss and colleagues were talking about. “I was frightened to get to work back then. I was afraid that they would find out I have hearing problems and also did the wrong thing when if I could not hear them clearly!” The stress was unbearable so she gave up her job eventually.
Until one day Ah Chen met a girl with hearing difficulties on the street. She was showing a bright smile on her face despite the fact that she was wearing hearing aids. “ I wished I could be as happy as her,” said Ah Chen.
The girl Ah Chen met had inspired her to face her own hearing problems instead of hiding herself with avoidance of the difficulties. She approached the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf and started working in a bakery shortly. Her colleagues are very nice to her and did not discriminate or label her because of her hearing difficulties. “There is always a way out if you don’t give up and keep going,” said Ah Chen.
She then joined a floral design course organized by the Employees Retraining Board and started working in Rinato Eco Floral Shop. Ah Chen did not have much confidence when she was involved in direct communications with the customers in the beginning. After practices and the accumulation of experiences, she is able to work independently and introduce products to customers proactively. Ah Chen is very thankful for all the opportunities she got, as she was employed by a bakery upon her completion of a baking course, then was employed by Rinato Eco Floral Shop after learning floral design.
It is too shallow to conclude Ah Chen’s experiences simply by the word “lucky”. There is much effort jointly collaborated by many people behind this luck, including Ah Chen herself. From the first step she took in facing herself genuinely, walking out of her own frustration; to the opportunities provided by the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf, the bakery, the Employees Retraining Board, and Rinato Eco Floral Shop all helped her to grow and live her best life. It is an undeniable fact that an opportunity is the most important thing that disabled people are asking for, just a chance for them to prove their abilities despite their physical disabilities.