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The Bright Side of Hiring Special Needs Workers

Jun 30, 2023

The Bright Side of Hiring Special Needs Workers

Aside from quality textile, Mikado is known for its friendly and dedicated staff. Some of them have been with the company for more than a decade. But the bright side of this story is not just the longstanding business that has consistently served its customers, it’s about the special employees that have been with them along the way. Sabreena shares more in this week’s look on the bright side.

Sabreena Daly, Reporting

Glenford Gordon is an employee at Mikado’s Textile Palace.  He has been working here for the past nineteen years. He is diligent and dedicated.  Glenford is also deaf and mute.

Umesh Mahitani

Umesh Mahitani, Partner, Mikado Textile Palace
“Mikado has been around for 45 years and it’s from my grandfather’s years. We’ve hired quite a bit of people over the years, many of them have stayed with us for a long, long time and continue to stay with us. But it’s a proud moment when we could give so many different people from different walks of life and opportunities here, even people who are slightly disabled.”

Glen communicates by written notes or via text messages. His colleague, Desiree Lino, has been working here just as long and recounts what it is like working with him.

Desiree Lino

Desiree Lino, Supervisor, Mikado Textile Palace
“With Glenford, first it was challenging. You know, having to communicate with him because he doesn’t have a phone, where we would send him text messages. So, sometimes we have to write on papers, but I’m not sure if he is really, when it comes to reading, on that level. But when it comes to getting jobs done, he can do it.”

Since Glenford’s employment, Mikado has recruited two special needs workers. Ramcy Lopez and Shane Castillo are the newest members of staff who are committed to getting the job done in their own special way.

Desiree Lino
“Well, with the new members, one of them, Shane, he’s really advanced. He communicates very well with us sign language wise and texting. He could express what he wants through the text. It’s just easier to communicate with him. Then we have the other one that came along, he’s easy too, but not as good as Shane.”

Seeing special needs workers on the job has resulted in great approval.

Teresita Garbutt

Teresita Garbutt, Supervisor, Mikado Textile Palace
“There are certain customers that come in here and say that they applaud the Mikado store for hiring those types of people.”

One of those customers is Dana Staine. She taught two of the three men at Stella Maris School.

Dana Staine

Dana Staine, Vice Principal, Stella Maris School

“Three of them are hearing impaired. Out of the three, I’m familiar with Glenford and with Shane. Whenever I walk into Mikado, I am greeted with sign language. Good morning teacher and I will reply back and say, good morning. How are you? They would say super fine or feeling good. They will express that to me.”

Together, they have drawn much admiration from customers, but they are also helpful to others with similar disabilities.

Teresita Garbutt

“We do have some customers that can’t speak in here as well, they’re like them. So when they come in here, either Mr. Glenford or Shane, they would have helped us in a way that we would need to understand what they want, so they go ahead and write it down for us.”

Dana Staine

“It makes my heart. Feel so elated. I’m happy that these students were able to fit into society and the manager and the workers. They treat these workers with respect. I must see whenever you go in there, they’re so happy and they’re busy trying to help all the customers that walk into Mikado on a daily basis.”

Their inclusion has impacted the lives of their colleagues, and the company as a whole. The Bright side of hiring special needs workers is a message of equality. And Desiree Lino expressed that she is proud to work with a company and staff that reflect that message of unity.

Desiree Lino

“We don’t judge people by if they cannot do this, or hear, or see and things like that. It’s very important to treat each other equally and working with these three guys made me realize that all of us are one. It doesn’t matter if we can hear, see all of those things. It’s just all of us are one. We should be treated equally.”

Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.