Archive for the ‘Persons with special needs’ Category

Handicapped and jobless

Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Dr Ruziah Ghazali.

A university degree is often perceived by undergraduates as the ticket to jobs with a steady income and promising career advancement.

But with a competitive job market and unpredictable economic landscape, this is no longer the case.

For graduates with disabilities, the situation is even more challenging. With an uncertain business climate, many organisations and companies prefer to employ graduates who they think can hit the ground running from day one. For them, graduates with disabilities may not match their expectations.

While there are persons with disabilities (PWDs) armed with university degrees who have gone on to become lecturers, lawyers, marketing executives, account executives, and administration officers, there are many who still struggle to gain employment.

And when they do land a job, it may not be a permanent one or have the pay packet and job grade that commensurate with their qualifications.

To address the issue of unemployment among the disabled, the government had some time ago introduced the one per cent PWD (OKU) employment in the public sector policy.

But as Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh pointed out in June last year, the policy has yet to gain traction despite the fact that its plus points include diversity in the organisation and making the workforce more inclusive.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan highlighted that the government’s inability to fulfil the one per cent OKU in the public sector policy after more than three decades also reflects the situation of employment for PWDs in the private sector.

“From the employers’ perspective, the employability of a graduate, including graduate PWDs, will depend on whether the graduate is able to perform the requisite tasks and has the right attitude and skills,” he said.

According to Shamsuddin, there are internal and external factors that influence the employment of PWDs.

“Internal factors include lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem and inability to work, despite them obtaining degrees. External factors include support and facilities for PWDs to commute to the workplace and at the workplace itself.

“In the private sector, the job market is a level playing field. The PWD candidate needs to compete with normal candidates for the same job.

“With the incentives given by the government to employers of PWDs and the employed PWD, the PWD actually has an advantage over the other candidates. But there is still a lack of awareness among private sector employers of such incentives to the employers.

“As many employers are still unaware of such benefits, the institutions of learning and the PWD candidate should take it upon themselves to inform the prospective employers of such benefits and advantages,” said Shamsuddin.

Dr Ruziah Ghazali, a member of the National Council for PWDs and an honorary adviser of the Little People National Organisation of Malaysia, said the lack of accurate information on PWDs — about dwarfism, for example — has led to unjust treatment by the public, resulting in PWDs being unnecessarily pitied, misunderstood and ignored.

Despite that, she said PWDs must be professional in approaching and dealing with employers.

“PWDs have to present themselves as reliable and highly professional — suitable for the position they are asking for. They must be well prepared before the job interview. PWDs have to be encouraged to think competitively and to promote their skills.

While there are persons with disabilities (PWDs) armed with university degrees who have gone on to become lecturers, lawyers, marketing executives, account executives, and administration officers, there are many who still struggle to gain employment.

“Employment should be seen as a real, professional and economic occupation, which does not depend on charity,” she said, adding that if disabled graduates could not get their dream jobs, they could still apply their knowledge to other fields of work and “most importantly, they must have a source of income for survival”.

Ruziah emphasised that disabled graduates should be accepted as part of the workforce who could contribute to the development of a country.

“In fact, this effort will help the disabled to get out of poverty because the disabled are often associated with this issue.”


One of the reasons why employers hesitate to offer a job to a PWD can be a concern about the unknown.

“Employers require quality in their work. They want to ensure that the employees’ performance can be assessed and discussed. This refers equally to all employees, regardless of their possible disability,” said Dr Ruziah.

She said employers should attend the Disability Equality Training which is supported by the Department of Social Welfare to have a better understanding of PWDs.

The government has also introduced an employment support service programme called Job Coach. The programme, provided by the department and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), focuses on coaching PWDs in securing employment.

“Furthermore, career service centres need to be established for the benefit of PWDs by providing knowledge, skills and a support system. These centres can initiate access to quality infrastructure that support PWDs and to enable access to world-class education, skills development and high-quality health systems.”

A disabled graduate receiving her scroll at the 35th International Islamic University Malaysia convocation last year. -NSTP/Aizuddin Saad

Dr Ruziah said the programme should adopt a multi-sectoral collaboration in addition to the involvement of the Office of the Deputy Minister of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and the Human Resources Ministry.

“The Career Service Centre will identify the list of experienced organisations in hiring the PWDs and the potential employers for PWDs to be corporate partners,” she said.


Shamsuddin pointed out that the workplace and the nature of jobs were changing, and many jobs were now being done by machines, or at home. For certain jobs, PWDs may even have the advantage over their normal peers.

“In anticipation of future job requirement for skilled workers, the government has identified TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) as a way forward for Malaysia,” he said.

He said that the institutions of learning had a critical role in equipping the PWDs with the requisite skills and knowledge that could be enhanced through direct collaboration with industry, including in the field of research and development, internship, training, equipment and recruitment.

“MEF is actively engaged at various national, regional and international platforms on the important subject of future jobs. We are currently an active member of the steering committee on Research on Employment Opportunity for PWDs in Malaysia under Institut Sosial Malaysia, a member of the National Council on Employment for PWDs under the Human Resources Ministry, and a member of the Department of Occupational Safety & Health TVET under the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee.”

By Rozana Sani.

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Are we ready for an ageing Malaysia?

Sunday, December 15th, 2019
People in their golden years should aim to keep fit by taking part in physically, socially and mentally-stimulating activities.
By Nor Ain Mohamed RadhiTHARANYA ARUMUGAM - December 15, 2019 @ 12:24pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is well on its way to becoming an ageing society by 2030 when it is projected that 15 per cent of its population will be 60 years old and above, according to the Department of Statistics.

With the estimation that 7.2 per cent of the population will be 65 and older by next year, health experts have called for a review of policies to improve the nation’s preparedness for elderly care.

At the moment, efforts on the elderly are being led by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Health Ministry.

Professor Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, a public health expert from International Medical University, said the country did not have adequate health and elderly care facilities to support the growing ageing population.

“Ageing as an issue has been articulated in many ministerial policy and development papers, but I am not sure if we have a single national policy on ageing society to prepare our nation for this transition.

“Also, which ministry or department should champion it? Ageing is beyond a health issue. Social support system, socioeconomic wellbeing, declining productivity and sustainable income and health are interrelated and may work in a vicious cycle.”

He called for a holistic and comprehensive national policy on the elderly that cuts across sectors, enabling the government, society and individuals to understand their roles and responsibilities and act more efficiently in caring for the elderly.

Malaysia adopted the National Policy for the Elderly in 1995 under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, which ended in 2005. Later, the National Policy for Older Persons came into effect in 2011, complemented by the Health Ministry’s National Health Policy for Older Persons in 2008.

The policies focus on empowering individuals, families and communities by providing elderly-friendly services and enabling environments to improve people’s wellbeing in old age.

The national policies work together under the broader national development plans under the Prime Minister’s Department’s Economic Planning Unit.

Dr Lokman, who is the Health Ministry’s former deputy director-general of public health, however, said more needed to be done and he emphasised the need to determine the framework on the responsibility of elderly care.

“Should the responsibility lie on ourselves as individuals who will grow old, on our family, society, government or a combination of all?

“Based on this foundation, we can develop policies to guide development programmes towards a comprehensive elderly care that covers social, economic and health aspects.

“For example, if we decide it is our responsibility (elderly care), a policy may be developed to pool pensioners’ resources by law to provide support for the elderly once they become dependent.

“If it is societal responsibility, we need policies to allow society to support the elderly in their community,” he said, adding that this could be done through non-governmental organisations and residential homes.

Apart from ensuring well-functioning geriatric medicine services, he said policies that support the wellbeing of the elderly should also be in place with guaranteed access to shelter, food and social support.

“We need a clear policy on immunisation for the elderly, as they are at risk of vaccine-preventable morbidity and mortality, for example, pneumococcal vaccine.”

Dr Lokman said elderly centres must be regulated to ensure quality care that fulfilled social, spiritual and health needs.

“The social support system is disintegrating with rural-urban migration or rapid urbanisation of peri-urban with declining extended families.”

He said individuals in their golden years should keep fit by indulging in physically, socially and mentally-stimulating activities, such as reading, socialising, travelling and gardening.

Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society adviser Professor Nathan Vytialingam said there was an urgent need to address the challenges of an ageing nation through an inter-ministerial approach as it involved issues that were not limited to health and welfare.

“For example, much emphasis has been given to encourage the younger generation to be active in sports, but nobody talks about sports for the elderly.

“They (the elderly) too need to be encouraged to take up sports, with facilities made available for them to keep active.

“I believe the Youth and Sports Ministry can play a big role in this for the elderly.”

Last year, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at the Ageing, Learning and Technology: Enriching Lives, Connecting Communities Conference held in conjunction with International Day of Older Persons, urged the older generation to remain active.

Dr Mahathir, who is 94 this year, had said if the elderly did not stay active, they would become weak.

To curb loneliness at old age, Nathan said a solid support system should be in place to help the elderly remain mentally active.

“A community centre that allows elderly persons to socialise should be set up in places where community support is lacking, where their children can send them in the morning and pick them up after work.

“These facilities must be well-structured and run by professionals,” he said, adding that more inter-generational activities should be in place to provide social support.

“Such activities can help the elderly look forward to a productive day, with a joyful purpose in life.”

Nathan encouraged private companies and giant corporations to help the elderly.

“Caring for the elderly is not the sole responsibility of the government, but also the community.

“Although often the responsibility is entrusted to the government, big corporations should also look at it as part of their corporate social responsibility programme by providing assistance.”

He said education on healthy ageing should not start at age 60.

“Keeping fit should start from young, not when you have turned 60. This is to allow a person to manage his or her life better and more independently at a later age.

“Many people think only at 60 you are required to exercise more and watch what you eat. Yes, you can do that, but it is much better to start at a much earlier age,” he told the New Sunday Times.

Nathan, who is also Perdana University School of Occupational Therapy dean, said when one gets older, it was important to be able to function normally.

“This includes the ability to dress, go to the toilet and move around without assistance.

“The physical demands of such activities require people to take better care of themselves when they are younger so that they can continue to live independently well into their 60s and beyond.”

By Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi, THARANYA ARUMUGAM.

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Minister praises Caring For the Future Malaysia concept

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Caring For the Future Malaysia (CFFM) has been applauded for embracing a holistic approach in transforming the lives of the children under its care.

Sabah Minister of Health and People’s Wellbeing, Datuk Poon Ming Fung @ Frankie hopes that other charity organisations will model after CFFM and learn from its holistic approach to community building.

“I admire the concept of behind Caring For the Future Malaysia (CFFM) that does not merely provide a home and feeding the orphaned, motherless, fatherless, abused and neglected children, but more importantly equipping and transforming these children to grow up with the right values of life by developing their self-esteem, living and social skills.

“This concept can successfully become a centre for social and welfare sustainability, both on the local and international level,” he said in conjunction with the CFFM’s fourth fundraising event – “Celebrating Friendship” charity concert featuring Japanese Pop singer Chiharu Tamashiro.

His speech was delivered by his assistant Norazlinah Arif, at the Sabah Theological Seminary (STS) Auditorium, on Saturday.

Frankie said, though CFFM idea is a brainchild of Mitsuhiko Abe, who is a Japanese, he is very happy to see Sabahans from all walks of life sharing the same vision and passion for the betterment of the future generation.

“Together they have put in much effort and time to make it a reality. It shows that we are progressing economically as well as socially, building strong communal bonds and values together in our nation as well as on an international level,” he said.

He then urged everyone to give their utmost support to make this noble mission and vision of CFFM a reality and a success in the years to come.

“Let us build a brighter and a more stable future for our generations to come and let’s together make it start with us now,” he said.

According to Frankie, it’s truly awesome to learn that throughout the years from the inception of CFFM many youths from Japan have come to participate in the projects, learning about life and at the same time sharing their expertise and technology with our local people for example, composting, bio-gas, hydro-power and others.

He noted that CFFM also serves as a training centre both to the children under its care as well as the locals living in the vicinity.

“Other welfare and education groups and organisations have also shown much interest to participate in CFFM’s projects.

“In time to come, I believe it will generate employment and opportunities for Sabahans,” he said.

“I also came to know that CFFM is very eco-friendly. Teaching the children under its care from a very young age on how to use, manage and preserve our land and natural resources. What an amazing legacy to leave behind for the future generations.

“I am also delighted to hear that CFFM’s projects help to empower the communities through its social welfare services, child sponsorship and child adoption programmes. Thus it embraces a holistic approach in transforming the lives of our people.

“Truly, this approach to welfare services is the first in the state as it transcends from being just yet another charity body to one of social whereby CFFM does not depend solely on society but also contribute and give back to the society,” he added.

As for the charity concert, Frankie said, it is well evident in the participation and collaboration of Japanese and local artists who have selflessly agreed to participate to make this event a success.

A total of 1300 guests attend the charity concert which was held at 2pm and 7pm, respectively.


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Disabled kids get documents

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Six special needs children at the PDK Centre in Tanjung Aru obtained their Mykad recently – thanks to the JPN (National Registration Department’s) outreach service.

Its mobile services officer Ibrahim Jaini said they have been discharging their duties throughout the state by extending the same to other categories such as senior citizens and people residing in rural places who had difficulty coming to town for such service.

Datin Mary Yong, chairperson for the PDK centre, said the centre could only accommodate 41 children and four teaching staff as the space is not conducive for more.

“I thank JPN for organising the service.  We want to make it easier for parents having special needs children to bring them for documentation at the centre instead of going to JPN.

“We understand the hassle parents face when dealing with physically challenging children,” she said.

Ibrahim said the mobile unit started operations in 2000 and had covered rural places as far as Paitan, Sebatik and islands around the mainland.

He said the usual problems faced by the officers are connectivity and communication.

‘Some areas are so difficult to penetrate due to lack of   proper infrastructure and communication service is hard to get.

But we know there are villages there and we still need to extend our services to those places,” he said.

Valentina Sho, the supervisor of the centre, said the great challenge apart from the children being not in the normal state, is that the teaching staff have to be paid RM800 as allowance (not salary), while they are tasked to look after children with various disability.

“All our teaching staff are well-trained to ensure these children grow up as normal as possible.

“It is difficult to handle due to their physical state. However, with some love, care and effort we can calm them down and teach them to do simple tasks like holding spoons or plates and going to the toilet.

Some of them are hyperactive and need to be treated differently from other children while some are autistic.

“It takes patience and love to overcome this obstacle,” Valentina said.

Mary said request for further financial assistance had been forwarded to the attention of the Chief Minister’s Department and is awaiting a favourable response.

By: Lorena Binisol.

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Better study opportunities in store for OKU kids

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

PETALING JAYA: Having more facilities for the disabled (OKU) will encourage more parents to send their children to schools, says educationist Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.He said some parents had avoided sending their disabled children to school due to the lack of OKU-friendly facilities.

“Now with more facilities, these children will have more opportunities to get a proper education, ” he said on the RM23mil allocated for OKU facilities in national schools in Budget 2020.

Subramaniam also described the allocation as a “plus point” as these children should not be denied their right to education just because a school lacked such infrastructure.

He welcomed the much-needed increase in the allocation for maintaining and upgrading schools,

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TYT celebrates birthday with special needs children, orphans

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Juhar (front, fourth left) and Norlidah (front, fifth left) cutting a cake during the high tea event with special needs children and orphans yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: A high tea event with special needs children and orphans in conjunction with the official 66th birthday celebration of Sabah Head of State was held at Nexus Spa and Resort Karambunai yesterday.

The event was graced by Head of State Tun (Dr) Juhar Mahiruddin and his consort, Toh Puan (Dr) Norlidah RM Jasni.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, Sabah Federal Secretary, Datuk Samsuni Mohd Nor, Assistant Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister, Norazlinah Arif, Local Government and People’s Wellbeing ministry permanent secretary, Datuk Masnah Mat Salleh, Health and People’s Wellbeing ministry permanent secretary, Datuk Janet Chee, and Sabah General Welfare Services Department director, Myrna Jimenez, who is also the event’s organizing chairperson, were among the dignitaries present at the event.

Some 205 children and their 49 escorts from special institutions and schools attended the event.

Ensuring better access to education for the disabled

Saturday, September 7th, 2019
Only a handful of universities are actively involved in implementing disabled-friendly policies. –File pic

The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals has emphasised about inclusive, quality and lifelong education.

This is difficult enough to realise for most the world over, especially in the developing Global South, given the various divides — economics, technological and socio-emotional.

So what can be said of the disabled, or the differently abled, generally known as OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya)?

Going by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank estimates, there are some one billion people who experience some form of disability. Of the one billion, up to 150 million are children, including those of school-going age.

Some of these children are 10 times less likely to go to school than other children. When they do attend school, it is likely to be in a segregated setting.

Historically, those with disabilities have been excluded from the general education system and placed in “special schools”.

In some cases, they are separated from their families and placed in long-term residential institutions where they are educated in isolation from the community, if they are educated at all.

Based on the Global Partnership for Education, it was estimated that 90 per cent of children with disabilities in low and lower-middle income countries do not go to school.

In Malaysia, some 488,948 OKUs were registered with the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat as at October last year. But the number of them gaining an education is relatively small.

For example, the International Islamic University Malaysia, which launched its own Disability Inclusion Policy in November last year which is in tandem with the university’s raison d’etre, has some 150 and 10 OKU students and staff‎ respectively.

This is due to a number of barriers such as attitude, financial, physical, communication and organisational. The latest being migrational in nature.

Indeed, in 2016 the UN estimated that less than half of the world’s six million refugee children were in school.‎ Lesser still in university.

Similarly, Human Rights Watch too identified that refugee children with disabilities faced barriers to enrol in schools.

Hence the initiative taken by the Ministry of Education to launch ‎Garis Panduan Pelaksanaan Dasar Inklusif OKU in institutions of higher education last week was timely.

In 2008, the Persons with Disabilities Act (PWDA) was passed by Parliament to ensure access for the disabled to public facilities, transport and recreation, leisure and sports services.

As part of the Act, building by-laws were amended making it compulsory for buildings to provide access and facilities for disabled people. Existing buildings were allowed three years to make the necessary modifications to comply with these new requirements.

In this context the guidelines were overdue to create a disabled-friendly infrastructure, to prepare a conducive learning and living environment, and building a trusting community among others.

This is with the goal of raising the number of students with disabilities enrolling for formal education. And, at the same time, to ensure that the number of dropouts is kept low relative to the initial enrolment.

Moreover, those with disabilities face a higher risk from violence and bullying, as well as hindering their right to education, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

These facts and figures reflect the significant impact of the barriers to education faced by people with disabilities, pointing to the importance of some policy guidelines. As for now it is not surprising that only a handful of universities are actively involved in implementing disabled-friendly policies.

It is hoped that the introduction of the new guidelines will overcome the lack of accessibility, ranging from physically inaccessible buildings to unsuitable learning materials.

Others include discrimination and prejudice which prevents people with disabilities from accessing education on equal terms with others, exclusion or segregation from mainstream educational settings, and inferior quality of education, including in mainstream settings, where those with disabilities have been “integrated” into the existing non-inclusive system.

At the same time, human rights laws seek to directly tackle these issues by compelling states to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education of people with disabilities through the implementation of “inclusive education”.

It is worthy to note that people generally are more accepting and understanding of those with physical disabilities, conditions which are tangible to them such as loss of vision, inability to walk, total loss of hearing or loss of limbs.

Whereas, those with behavioural, mental and intellectual disabilities faced far greater challenges. Some studies showed that only 20 per cent of Malaysians perceived behavioural and mental conditions as disabilities.

To most, those with learning disabilities, hyperactivity or aggression are simply perceived as “badly behaved”. They are often stigmatised as “crazy”, “stupid” or “tiga-suku” among the locals, and made fun of.

This means education is essential to put things in its proper perspective before the Garis Panduan Pelaksanaan Dasar Inklusif OKU can have its full and lasting impact.

By Dzulkifli Abdul Razak

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Dr Maszlee: All IPTAs must be completely disabled-friendly within 10 years.

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik received the OKU Inclusion Policy in IPTA guidelines during the launching ceremony at IIUM Cultural Centre. Azman Ghani / The Star

GOMBAK: All public higher education institutions (IPTAs) must become completely disabled-friendly within the next decade, says Dr Maszlee Malik.

The Education Minister said this was part of the guidelines for the OKU (Disabled) Inclusion in Higher Education Institutions Policy that was implemented in January.

“We do not want anymore cases where students who fulfil course requirements are not accepted by higher education institutions because they are disabled, as there are no facilities to cater to them,” he said during the launch of the guidelines Thursday (Sept 5) at the International Islamic University (IIUM).

“The reason for this inclusive education policy is to eliminate the separation of OKU students from other students,” he added.

Maszlee said the policy must be implemented by IPTAs over the next 10 years through short, medium and long-term plans that are comprehensive, practical and realistic.

He added that Malaysia is capable of forming an inclusive culture in education that does not sideline the OKU community.

Access for the OKU to education will be done radically across the country, he said, adding that he hoped to tie the policy with the 12th Malaysia Plan.

Maszlee said it was everyone’s responsibility, not just the ministry’s, to ensure the OKU community’s rights are always protected.

This year, Maszlee said, a special entrance stream into IPTAs was created for OKU, B40, athletes and Orang Asli.

The ministry, he added, has already implemented a Zero-Reject Policy in national schools so that no child is denied their right to education.

“The OKU Inclusion in Higher Education Institutions Policy will be carried out and given priority at all higher education institutions to ensure facilities and continuous education support systems can be given to OKU students,” he said.

He said among the points touched on in the guidelines are barriers in the system that discriminate against the OKU.

An example Maszlee gave is the maximum graduation period which needs to be extended for OKU as most of them need more time to complete their studies and carry out research.

Study materials that specifically cater to those who are visually-impaired, deaf or have different learning abilities should also be provided, he said.

Infrastructure needs to be upgraded so that the community can access the facilities at the institutions.

He gave examples on the lack of ramps, lifts and narrow toilets that all need to be looked into.

Maszlee acknowledged that the ministry does not have the funds to do all these upgrades and changes.

As of now, he added, higher education institutions are using their own funds to carry out the changes.

He urged the private sector to step forward and help fund the changes needed for the benefit of the OKU community.

Maszlee said the guidelines state that all IPTA must use the policy and establish an OKU Services Unit that is separate from the Students Affairs Unit.

The OKU Services Unit will cater not just to OKU students but staff as well, he said, adding that he hopes the new unit will be placed under the vice-chancellor’s office.

Although it is not compulsory for private higher education institutions (IPTS) to follow the guidelines, Maszlee hopes they will also adopt it to increase accessibility to education for the OKU community.

So far, he added, Universiti Malaya (UM), IIUM and Universiti Sains Malaysia have implemented the policy while the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is one of the IPTS using the policy.

IIUM rector Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said providing OKU with the necessary support will give them access to quality education, ultimately developing both themselves and society.

“IIUM gives special attention to its OKU staff and students with its IIUM Disability Inclusion Policy,” he said.

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Council for people with disabilities soon – Frankie

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

Poon signing a document to show his commitment to implement the Asean Enabling Masterplan 2025 while, from left, Chew, Wong, Chee and others look on.

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Health and People’s Wellbeing in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department (JPKA) will form a Sabah Persons with Disabilities (OKU) Rehabilitation Council to implement policies, laws and programmes with OKU organizations.

Its minister Datuk Frankie Poon Ming Fung said the council, which included various government agencies and OKUs, would look into the needs of physically challenged people.

He said the council aimed to assist OKUs who had difficulties in assessing public facilities.

“Many government facilities have done their level best to cater to the needs of physically challenged persons, including the visually impaired.”

Nevertheless, Poon said the council would study the recommendations proposed and play an advisory role to public institutions such as the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and local councils statewide.

He said this at the closing ceremony of the State-level awareness workshop on the Asean Enabling Masterplan 2025 themed ‘Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ here yesterday.

Poon also signed a document declaring the ministry’s commitment to implement the masterplan.

He said the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 has emphasized that OKUs have equal rights and status as normal people in terms of the social, cultural, economic and political aspects.

“As such, the views and interests of OKU must be taken into account in every social, economic and political agenda.”

He said people with special needs could equally contribute to the society.

“Hence, we have to cater for and recognize the needs of this special group of people.”

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More careers for more special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

LAST week we looked at some careers that special people can consider.

(Special people are people who have some physical or mental disability. Since they are handicapped, they need some special help.)

With the correct guidance they can choose a career and enter the workforce.

Malaysia is very short of skilled workers and they too can play an important role in the employment sector. Let us look at more career options for special people.

Industrial machinery worker

The task of industrial machinery workers are to repair and sustain the various equipment of the factory and other machineries and should examine their efficiency.

It will need fundamental education in the field of mechanics and the setting where they will have to work would be industries or factories. Hearing impaired candidates are often considered for this field of occupation.

Machinist or tool die maker:

They are responsible for the arrangement and operation of machines and tools which are managed mechanically or by computers.

The duties specifically are to work with the outline, design and sketches then calculating and validate the dimensions, shaping and pulverising machine parts to the design and requirements and monitoring as well as inspecting products for any defects.

Computer system analyst:

In this profession one is accountable to review the systems of the computer and protocols to facilitate smooth functioning of the management of an organisation more effectively.

Computer design organisations and finance and insurance, government and computer management are the frequent employers of this profession. Computer system analyst can work with one organisation or be self employed and function as consultants.

Graphic designers:

The abstract intellectual will be very beneficial to one to become graphic designer.

As a graphic designer one has to conceptualise a design and then work with specific software for its development.

It is a thriving sector and with adequate skills of designing and knowledge of software, the person with disability can easily fit in a slot.

Medical transcription job:

The functions involve the process of transcription that is converting voice recorded information as dictated by healthcare professionals or physicians into text format.

With adequate training one can work in this profession even from home.

Mystery shopping and survey work:

Mystery shoppers are paid to pretend as regular customers and rate a service or store. Filling survey forms is another good option for people with disabilities.

Legal careers:

A person with disability can choose to become a legal secretary, legal assistant, and paralegal.

The legal field provides with many job openings, the majority of which do not need physical labour.

Some job tasks may need a two year degree nevertheless; most require certificate or training courses.

Floral designer:

A person with disability, who is fond of flowers or plants, can become a floral designer. It is the art of using flowers and materials to create a pleasing and stable masterpiece.

It is a traditional practice in many cultures. There is a broader occupation of floristry for flower lovers.


A disabled person can turn into an artist with training or skills. Creating paintings or drawings and exhibiting it can be a good option. Most of the people with disabilities are in this field.

Food service worker:

Making, selling and transporting the food to various restaurants, schools, hospitals or lodging institutions is a very good option for people with disabilities.

One should be a good cook or manage cooks and provide services to different organisations. It can be an owned service or working under an establishment.

Day care workers:

It refers to people who take care of others who are incapable of taking their own care, like children and will be at risk if left alone on their own, or their caretakers want relief in the daytime. Specific disabled people can effectively function in this profession.

Animal caretakers:

The primary duties of an animal caretaker are to take care of the needs of animals.

Tasks such as feed, bathe, groom and exercise animals that are pets or other non-farm animals are some functions. It may differ as per place of work. If a person with disability is fond of animals, this job for them is definitely enjoyable.

Appointment clerk:

The job specification is much broader than regular receptionist or information provider.

Scheduling and recording the appointment details, communicating with callers, reminding of appointments etc are some of the functions of an appointment clerk.

Career Tips

Never lose hope in finding the appropriate job that suits your capability. The only disability in one’s life is bad attitude, thus change your attitude towards life and stay positive.

You can definitely perform tasks available to the people with able-bodies.

Those who have sight, hearing, or mobility impairments can even mould their disabilities into employment resources by means of careful self-promotion and selection of job.

by K Krishnan

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