The Reason Why
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are more than 1.3 billion people all around the world who live with some form of disability. Currently in Malaysia, there is an estimate of 1 million disabled adults, youth and children.
This problem is in Malaysia and in every other country. There’s much to be done but we face insufficient knowledge and limited resources. What can we do to be part of the solution? How can we contribute? How can we begin to create impact and change?
And indeed, we can! Just step out and start - with a dialogue, with an experience, with empathy, with inclusion.
Our Founder's Story
At 45 years of age, the world that Stevens Chan knew came to an end in 2002. He had substantial experience in the banking and insurance industry, and a business owner of a consulting business that provided a niche service to the direct selling market in the early 90s. In the eyes of many, he was succeeding in leaps and bounds. However, disaster struck when he found out that he had Glaucoma, an eye disease that causes blindness. After nine (9) eye surgeries, he gradually lost all of his vision in 2007.
With the loss of sight, came the loss of hope. Hospital bills, loss of income and the effort to adapt himself to his new environment was daunting and difficult. However, in his darkest period, he discovered light. It came in the form of his faith in God, and his loving wife, Kaye that stood by him with unwavering love and support. He felt that God was sustaining him and he could trust in this God.
Soon, despair and a desperate situation turned into a sense of mission. Stevens found a new calling to his life - to prevent what had happened to him, from happening to others. He founded Malaysian Eye Patient Society (formerly known as Malaysia Glaucoma Society) and later SOS Missions Berhad with a vision of preventing unnecessary blindness, as well as helping patients with different eye disorders overcome their condition and support them to continue living with sight impairment.
With more to do, Stevens founded Dialogue In The Dark Malaysia, licensed by Dialogue Social Enterprise GmbH in 2012 with the objective of creating public awareness and empathy for those that are disabled, plus empowering the disabled community to achieve their full potential. Innovating from this platform, Stevens soon turned Dialogue In The Dark Malaysia into Dialogue Includes Academy with a mission to equip those with disabilities with communication and employment skills, which leads to building their self-confidence and changing their self-image.
Stevens and his team saw a greater vision and further created partner programmes under Dialogue Includes All in efforts of empowering trained disabled individuals to be entrepreneurs. This will eventually be an entrepreneurial platform for those who want to start their own enterprises under the includes.my trademark brand of Dialogue Includes All.
Stevens has a light-hearted personality and a positive outlook to life. His strength is resilience and he has a great passion for this ongoing mission of influencing an inclusive and empathetic society, where the disabled community are equipped and empowered as contributors to their families, to the nation and the world beyond.