If you have ever bought a beverage or snack at Temasek Shophouse on a weekday morning, chances are, you would have been served at the counter by Rachael Lum. And if you are a regular customer, Rachael probably already knows your order by heart.
The 19-year-old is a part-time service crew member with Foreword Coffee, a social enterprise café that hires people from five disadvantaged communities: persons with autism, mild intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, deafness, and those in recovery from mental health issues. About 80% of Foreword Coffee’s 18-strong team is differently-abled.
Born with cerebral palsy, Rachael’s condition affects movement in the right side of her body. However, she is able to fulfil her cleaning duties with a diligent ease, proving that any barrier to performing well at work is often a case of mind over body. She is also very good at cashiering and provides great customer service. In fact, most customers are unaware of her condition when they are served by her 'from' behind the counter.
Rachael takes down customers’ orders using the digital cashiering system, which is designed with step-by-step processes to make sure she doesn’t miss out anything.