Cleaning the shop's displays and filling the shelves with products all day long, Supakorn Gesmankit lives his typical working days just like other part-timers at a clothes store. His shift starts at 7.30am and ends at 3pm. He works four days a week and is paid the same wages as other temps. But there is one huge difference, and that is his intellectual impairment.
"It seemed he could not catch up on his first day. But after that, he was able to follow our explanations and now he can handle certain things by himself," said Supaporn Sopa, cashier leader at Uniqlo, renowned Japanese casual wear and accessories manufacturer and retailer. She is also Supakorn's mentor.
Supakorn is a person with intellectual disability. Prior to working at Uniqlo, he was a Special Olympics athlete which, by definition, includes those with an IQ score lower than 85. Last year, the now 20-year-old represented Thailand in the 11th Special Olympics World Winter Games held in South Korea. He competed in the 25m and 50m snowshoe race and won himself a silver and a bronze medal respectively.
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