Our StorySteps is the first ever vocational centre to help support Neurodivergent students - such as those with autism - in Thailand. Here's how our movement started.
There are more than 2 million people with disabilities living in Thailand. They have as much talent, skill and value to add to the workplace as anyone else. But less than two percent of them have had vocational training and less than 25 percent of them are employed.
Our mission to transform this situation began in 2016 with Max Simpson, an inclusion specialist, and Uang Hokrakitya, a diplomat turned pastry chef. United by a passion to ensure everyone – regardless of their differences – is able to access a dignified, fulfilling career, they set up Steps , a vocational training centre with a coffee shop attached where trainees could serve and apply their new-found work skills.
In just three years Steps has grown from four trainees to 30, with 100 percent of our graduates in paid employment. We now have three coffee shops, two franchises, and two vocational centres in Bangkok and Phuket. And just to keep ourselves really busy we also employ a team of therapists who offer support to young people in the wider community, and who offer training to schools to help them support Neurodivergent students – such as those with autism.
Our professionalism and experience has won us the SENIA Honorary Advocacy Award (twice!) and have been featured multiple times in the media.
The next three years promise to be just as busy. The Steps extended family is growing as more people and businesses reach out, many willing to offer employment opportunities to the trainees once they have completed the programme.
For Steps, this is the ultimate aim; providing fulfilling employment which enables Neurodivergent young people – such as those with autism – to be independent and contribute to their community.
Number of vocational centres in Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket)
Number of coffee shops
The Steps Therapy Centre offers a range of tailored training packages for schools and parents to help support children’s social and academic development. Read more about our training packages.