Person sitting in wheelchair typing on laptop computer

Vulcan Coalition: Bridging the digital divide for people with disabilities

Methawee Thatsanasateankit

I believe together we can create a world full of opportunities for all people.

Methawee Thatsanasateankit CEO of Vulcan Coalition

Methawee Thatsanasateankit, CEO of Vulcan Coalition, 2021 WE Empower Finalist, Asia-Pacific

Drawing inspiration from a friend with a visual impairment, Methawee Thatsanasateankit witnessed the struggle of People with Disabilities (PWDs) to work and be a part of the labor force. Thus, Vulcan Coalition was founded. Thatsanasateankit stated that, “there is a social perception in Thailand that is the main constraint blocking PWDs from job employment.” Vulcan Coalition began with the recruitment of 30 visually impaired people who were then provided training in digital and data labeling through the invention of a voice labeling platform. With a five-year goal of creating job opportunities for 100,000 PWDs and marginalized groups, Vulcan Coalition conducts inspiration work in alignment with UN SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Vulcan Coalition creates sustainable and inclusive economic growth through the inclusion of disabled peoples as key players in driving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry in Thailand. PWDs are enabled to enhance their digital skills while using their special abilities and create an effective AI model. Vulcan Coalition ensures that PWDs are not left behind throughout the wave of digital transformation.

And, despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the increase in global unemployment, Vulcan Coalition creates job opportunities for PWDs by designing a working platform with accessibility for all types of disability, especially the visually impaired. This includes a 30% revenue profit share with PWDs employed and those working on the platform receive 300 USD on a monthly basis.Through waves of disruptive change, Thatsanasateankit and Vulcan Coalition aim to bridge the gap between vulnerable groups and job opportunities and replicate their business model in both the Philippines and Indonesia.

Fostering gender equality and the next generation of women

In support of UN SDG 5: Gender Equality and UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequality, Vulcan Coalition partnered with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) to organize women in tech programs that are aimed to ensure women with disabilities prosper within the tech industry. Vulcan Coalition believes that, “we can bridge the capability of vulnerable people, especially PWDs, with the rising demand of the workforce in the AI industry.” In the process, their Human Resources (HR) team ensures that the next generation of women talent, including PWDs, are taught, trained, and nurtured with the right skills to grow.

In Thailand, the social perception towards PWDs as “unabled people” causes approximately 300,000 Thai people with disabilities of working-age to face numerous barriers to employment. Due to the global pandemic, PWDs suffered more-so than others as they were roughly 80% employed in the service sector. Vulcan Coalition purposefully reduces these inequalities by employment disabled peoples as AI trainers, providing both employment opportunities and empowerment. By doing so they promote diversity, improve standards of living, and aid in the reduction of poverty for disabled peoples in Thailand.

In the disruptive change that threatens to disrupt millions of jobs in many industries, we envision that vulnerable groups can access training programs for enhancing their skill and be a part of the workforce which drives the Automation Industry forward.

Methawee Thatsanasateankit CEO of Vulcan Coalition

Learn more about Methawee and Vulcan Coalition.

by Danyelle Kawamura