Al-Ahram Weekly Online   18 - 24 October 2012
Issue No. 1119
Youth page
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

From disability to the sky

Nada Barakat tells a tale of success in special needs

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A living dream of survival and success, of hard work and happiness achieved every second by a group of young blind fighters who ended their classification as special needs and now maintain a normal and decent life through a challenging job as call centre agents.

Ability CC, the first blind and special needs call centre in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, was founded just last year. It is considered a one of a kind experience providing this opportunity of utilising special needs with the least cost and equipment.

Ability CC founder and CEO Amr Deabes was determined to have real business aiming for profit but with a real social responsibly instead of having a charity organisation always waiting for donations.

Deabes got the idea of this unique project after witnessing his best friend lose his sight and how it has changed his life upside down and how they both worked on overcoming the challenge. Through training his friend regained his life and career with the least technological assistance.

With personal training and simple software more than eight million Egyptians with disabilities can have a life changer, from the life of disability to a life full of abilities and an equal chance of income like any other citizen.

Deabes's project faced various obstacles, but the worst was lack of faith in the idea from the government, and companies that did not want to use those with special needs in a call centre.

Luck allowed Deabes to meet Fadi Ghandou, CEO of Aramex, who signed with him their first contract. Jabbar Group or was the first client of Ability CC. "If it wasn't for the support and belief of our two biggest clients Aramex and we would not have survived, but life is always looking for fighters and we intended to fight to win," said Deabes.

Ability CC aims to train 5,000 special needs people to help them live a normal life with a minimum income of LE1,200 while not costing the call centre project much since the idea depends on training and coaching.

Candidates work in a special training programme designed by special Ability CC trainers that includes a quick English course, information technology training, assistance software, to the use of the standard keyboard, and other regular ICDL training and customer relations orientation.

Ability CC is growing daily and now has 10 major local and international client companies.

The company intends to grow more and increase its team with a special mix of special needs and other agents to help maintain a regular life in normal surroundings while always feeling competent and capable.

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