Congratulations to K.A. Razhiyah from Panji Secondary School in Malaysia as the recipient of this year’s SENIA Advocacy Award. This award recognizes professionals whose mission is to advocate and provide opportunities to differently abled students.
K.A. has done just that! As part of the special education branch of her school, she championed the development and training of her students in Teratak Spa. The idea of Teratak Spa is to provide differently abled students with the transition to work skills in providing spa type treatments – facials, scrubs, massages – as well as developing SPA products to be sold. The students go through challenging coursework to register for their Malaysian Skills Certificate based on Modules of Spa Therapy.
The impact on the students in this program has been life-changing. “Practical, work-based learning alongside professionals and being treated like an adult can transform the motivation and aspiration of people with disabilities who have struggled in school, helping them to achieve more than they ever thought they were capable of,” says K.A.
The Teratak Spa began in the local community with students providing services for teachers, parents and fellow students. Word began to spread about the amazing services offered by the students and soon the invitations began to pore in! They began with providing services at the Mydin Mall, then they were encouraged to open a SPA booth at the Teacher Training College, Tesco, Balai Islam and on a Teacher’s Day Celebration for their state.
K.A. has written many articles and presented at numerous conferences about the benefits of providing students with the life skills necessary to become contributing members of society. She has received many awards both nationally and internationally for her continued work on providing students with special needs an opportunity to be employed. To this day, she continues to encourage the spa industry to find a place for her trained students and develop inclusion for all members of society.