Employment for Persons with Intellectual Disability Co-operative Limited.
The mushroom farm is an example of a social enterprise that meets the requirement of our proposed social enterprise concept.
Our Vision : A Choice of Jobs for EVERY Person with Intellectual Disability contributing to enhancing their QUALITY OF LIFE. There must be real choices that allow the person to sustain long term meaningful employment.
Co-operative set up by parents, guardians and caregivers of persons with intellectual disability. VWO’s involved in persons with intellectual disability also invited to join so as to contribute towards our vision. Social Enterprises set up to run businesses that are structured to provide jobs that are suitable and meaningful for a wide range of people with intellectual disability. A majority of the employees are people with intellectual disability but they are augmented by people with other types of disability or non-disable persons.
We have already lined up a social enterprise that will meet as much as possible all the ideals that we envisioned.
Typical mushroom cultivation cycle. Saw dust and other nutrients are packed in plastic bags about 0.8kg. These bags are subjected to high temperature steam to pasteurize them to kill all living organism. Spores from healthy mushroom are cultured in suitable medium which is then introduced into the pasteurized substrate. The bags are left in a cool and relatively dark place to allow the mycelin to grow. The mushroom that we see is actually the “fruit” which blooms when the mycelin is matured. The mushroom continues to bloom until the substrate is depleted of nutrients. The substrate in the bags can be recycled by adding nutrients and packing into new bags. The cycle repeats.
Most of the stages can be done in China. The “matured” bags are then transported to Singapore in reef containers. Only the harvesting and packaging is done in Singapore. The depleted bags are discarded instead of recycled. This gives us an opportunity for another business : worm casting.
E4PID Co-operative Ltd E - Employment 4 - For P - Persons with I - Intellectual D - Disability
BACKGROUND• LACK OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AFTER GRADUATING FROM SCHOOL (SPECIAL) AT AGE OF 18 YEARS• LOW SUCCESS IN SUSTAINING OPEN EMPLOYMENT ESPECIALLY WITHOUT SUPPORT• A MAJORITY CAN STILL ENJOY MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT IF WE CAN LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD BY ADJUSTING THE JOB TO FIT THE PERSON THROUGH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AS WELL AS ADJUSTING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT (LIKE WORKING HOURS)
Our Vision A Choice of Jobs forEvery Person with Intellectual Disability Contributing to Enhancing their Quality of Life
Why Co-operative? NOT OWNED BY ONE PERSON OR JUST A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE – OWNED EQUALLY BY ALL MEMBERS (NO LIMIT TO NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE MEMBERS) STRONGER GOVERNANCE (BUILT INTO BY-LAWS) WITH OVERSIGHT UNDER CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES ACT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NOT A CHARITY BETTER CORPORATE PROFILE WITH RESPECT TO OUR SOCIAL AIMS LINKS TO OTHER CO-OPERATIVES AS WELL AS RESOURCES THROUGH SNCF MORE LEGITIMACY IN ADVOCACY AS REPRESENT WIDE MEMBERSHIP BASE
PARENTS PARENTS PARENTSPARENTS PARENTS CO-OPERATIVEVWO’s SOCIAL SOCIAL SOCIAL SOCIALENTERPRISE ENTERPRISE ENTERPRISE ENTERPRISE
MEMBERSHIP ORDINARY – PARENTS, GUARDIANS OR CAREGIVERS OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY – AT LEAST 100 SHARES @ $1 PER SHARE – EQUAL RIGHTS REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF SHARES OWNED – SUBJECT TO ACCEPTANCE – ELIGIBLE TO BE ELECTED TO MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND TO VOTE IN MATTERS DISCUSSED AT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS – UNLIKE COMPANIES, SHARE VALUE WILL NOT CHANGE OVER TIME – DIVIDENDS POSSIBLE BUT FINANCIAL DIVIDENDS UNLIKELY TO BE SIGNIFICANT GIVEN OUR OBJECTIVES. THE BIGGEST DIVIDEND FOR ALL MEMBERS SHOULD BE TRULY THE AVAILABILITY OF A CHOICE OF JOBS THAT WILL ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
MEMBERSHIP INSTITUTIONAL – VWO’s AND OTHERS INVOLVED IN THE CARE AND WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AND SHARE THE VISION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CO-OPERATIVE – AT LEAST 100 SHARES @ $1 PER SHARE – EQUAL RIGHTS REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF SHARES OWNED – RECOMMENDED BY ORDINARY MEMBER AND SUBJECT TO ACCEPTANCE – AUTOMATICALLY SITS ON THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, TO DISCUSS AND DEBATE ON MATTERS AT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS BUT NO VOTING RIGHTS ON DECISION – INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS INVITED AND ACCEPTED BASED ON THEIR POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE CAUSE OF THE CO-OPERATIVE AND THEREFORE THEIR ACTIVE CONTRIBUTION EXPECTED
WHY JOIN WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT SOME OF OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HOLD DOWN LONG TERM “OPEN EMPLOYMENT” PARTICULARLY WITHOUT CONTINUOUS SUPPORT A MAJORITY CAN STILL ENJOY MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT IF WE CAN LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD BY ADJUSTING THE JOB TO FIT THE PERSON THROUGH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AS WELL AS ADJUSTING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT (LIKE WORKING HOURS) IF PARENTS DO NOT GET TOGETHER NOW TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, WHO ARE WE WAITING FOR? IF WE HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF JOB CHOICES, THERE WILL BE MORE THAN ONE THAT IS SUITABLE FOR OUR OWN CHILD IF WE ARE TIRED OF OUR JOB, WE CAN SWITCH JOB. IF WE HAVE
Mushroom Farming Process culturingFreshnutrients packaging
Only Harvesting and Packaging Done inSingapore culturing Fresh nutrients DONE IN packaging SINGAPORE
The ProductGood quality fresh temperate mushroomsproduced in Singapore and sold to selectsupermarket chains and selectrestaurants.Fresh mushroom has very short shelf lifeand our product can get to thesupermarket shelf within the same day ofharvesting and commands a premium.
The Employment Model Staffwith intellectual disability trained by VWOs and equipped with the necessary assistive devices comprise a majority of the workforce. Complemented by staff with other disability or non-disabled staffs trained to work with persons with intellectual disability On-going training and re-training of workforce by VWOs.