Archive for the ‘Persons with special needs’ Category

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.

Artist:

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

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/242/more-careers-for-more-special-people-/

Careers for special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

MALAYSIA is very short of skilled workers. The government is trying ways and means to reduce foreign workers from working in Malaysia.

While many steps are being taken, it is worth considering the thousands of disabled Malaysians who are not usefully employed.

They may have the skills, but society is often skeptical in employing disabled people.

If only the attitude of employers change, we will have access to another group of employable Malaysians. They can easily fit into our society. At the same time we have the opportunity to provide employment for our own disabled workers.

The word “disability” itself says that one’s ability has been disabled, that is a person cannot carry out all the normal and regular physical or mental tasks. However a person who is suffering from a disability can channel his skills and knowledge in his chosen career.

Disability cannot pull a person down completely and to have a job, he has to be well motivated to support himself to hunt for jobs that he can do well. Most often these people are highly motivated and excel in their work.

If one is confused as to what jobs will be appropriate considering the disability, below is a list of jobs that one can choose as per the interests and ability of one. Delve into the many job openings available to you and work on whatever you are capable of doing.

Different Types of Jobs for People with Disabilities:

1. Accountant:

An accountant is responsible to keep or examine financial records. Financial institutions are considered as the highest employers of job hunters with disabilities.

The accounting opportunity is predominantly promising.

2. Financial Analyst:

Financial analyst has to analyse the capability of finance related bodies for investments. They have to evaluate whether an entity will be stable, solvent or profitable.

Thus one with certain disability can work as financial analyst as financial analysis is another eminent growing field in the financial area.

3. Management consultant:

Management consultant is someone who helps organisations to augment their functioning, performance and working primarily through the evaluation of existing organisational tribulations and the development of plans for advancement.

The organisations believe that these disabilities struck candidates will be able to help them effectively to overcome their challenges as the disabled people have themselves overcome many trials. Hence, with appropriate education one can easily find jobs in this field.

4.  Market research analyst:

Data on competitors and consumers are gathered and analysed to study market situation and to understand the potential of a product or service for sales.

The people with disabilities are able to contribute unique insights to the businesses that are looking up to adapt their consumers’ choices of products.

5. Pharmaceutical sales:

It involves the process of sales of drugs that has been clinically examined for its effectiveness and safety.

Many of the employers of people with disabilities in this sector are specialists in pharmaceutical sales.

6. Pharmacy technician:

Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician works as a health care provider carrying out pharmacy related operations.

This field has encountered high growth. The field has a verified track record for hiring job seekers who have disabilities.

7. Physician assistant:

A physician assistant is one who provides with health care and is inevitable in today’s health care structure.

They have to practice medicine along with physicians or other health care professionals to deliver premium health care to patients. One may encounter aiding others with disabilities.

8.  Software engineer:

They are responsible in the development, design and conservation of software. It is a top career and a growing sector for the job seekers with disabilities.

9. Vocational counselors:

It is a profession in which one assists person who has disabilities to assess their strengths as well as weaknesses with the intention of helping them in selecting the careers or jobs that expands their potentials to become active contributors to the workforce.

The people who themselves have disabilities have the best knowledge and insight to find the right career as they have crossed the path themselves and no one better than them can be able to counsel others with such disabilities.

10. Salesperson:

The role of the salesperson is of someone trying to sell a product or service through his communicating skills.

He has to convince a potential customer about how a product or service would meet their perceived needs.

There is need of salesperson virtually anywhere and is a best job option for a person with disabilities.

11. Self employment:

Owning and running a business, serving as consultant for other businesses, being an independent lawyer, online tutors are all few of the examples from the many self employed jobs available.

One carrying out self employment can work from home or personal office space and in some cases in client’s office.

12. Accessibility consulting:

It comprises of consulting the organisations on how they can improve their offices and neighbouring areas and make them more user friendly for the people with various disabilities.

13. Teacher:

Teacher is someone who helps people of different age groups develop intellectually and specialise in new skills.

The people with disability can help others with disability or without, through their experienced proficiency.

They can be involved in online education too. With the required education or if the disability was struck later in one’s life, they can teach about their former profession to others.

14. Writers:

Writers have to communicate via their written words to the readers. One can write on whatever he knows, possibly about disability. Writing articles in magazines, newspapers, web or eBooks or blogs is possible.

One can be self employed by writing books.

Companies or non-profit organisations also hire individuals to convey their messages to the readers through newsletters, brochures, press releases and other promotional stuff for which one must be a very persuasive writer.

by K. Khrishnan

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/238/careers-for-special-people/

Careers for special people

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

MALAYSIA is very short of skilled workers. The government is trying ways and means to reduce foreign workers from working in Malaysia.

While many steps are being taken, it is worth considering the thousands of disabled Malaysians who are not usefully employed.

They may have the skills, but society is often skeptical in employing disabled people.

If only the attitude of employers change, we will have access to another group of employable Malaysians. They can easily fit into our society. At the same time we have the opportunity to provide employment for our own disabled workers.

The word “disability” itself says that one’s ability has been disabled, that is a person cannot carry out all the normal and regular physical or mental tasks. However a person who is suffering from a disability can channel his skills and knowledge in his chosen career.

Disability cannot pull a person down completely and to have a job, he has to be well motivated to support himself to hunt for jobs that he can do well. Most often these people are highly motivated and excel in their work.

If one is confused as to what jobs will be appropriate considering the disability, below is a list of jobs that one can choose as per the interests and ability of one. Delve into the many job openings available to you and work on whatever you are capable of doing.

Different Types of Jobs for People with Disabilities:

1. Accountant:

An accountant is responsible to keep or examine financial records. Financial institutions are considered as the highest employers of job hunters with disabilities.

The accounting opportunity is predominantly promising.

2. Financial Analyst:

Financial analyst has to analyse the capability of finance related bodies for investments. They have to evaluate whether an entity will be stable, solvent or profitable.

Thus one with certain disability can work as financial analyst as financial analysis is another eminent growing field in the financial area.

3. Management consultant:

Management consultant is someone who helps organisations to augment their functioning, performance and working primarily through the evaluation of existing organisational tribulations and the development of plans for advancement.

The organisations believe that these disabilities struck candidates will be able to help them effectively to overcome their challenges as the disabled people have themselves overcome many trials. Hence, with appropriate education one can easily find jobs in this field.

4.  Market research analyst:

Data on competitors and consumers are gathered and analysed to study market situation and to understand the potential of a product or service for sales.

The people with disabilities are able to contribute unique insights to the businesses that are looking up to adapt their consumers’ choices of products.

5. Pharmaceutical sales:

It involves the process of sales of drugs that has been clinically examined for its effectiveness and safety.

Many of the employers of people with disabilities in this sector are specialists in pharmaceutical sales.

6. Pharmacy technician:

Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician works as a health care provider carrying out pharmacy related operations.

This field has encountered high growth. The field has a verified track record for hiring job seekers who have disabilities.

7. Physician assistant:

A physician assistant is one who provides with health care and is inevitable in today’s health care structure.

They have to practice medicine along with physicians or other health care professionals to deliver premium health care to patients. One may encounter aiding others with disabilities.

8. Software engineer:

They are responsible in the development, design and conservation of software. It is a top career and a growing sector for the job seekers with disabilities.

9. Vocational counsellors:

It is a profession in which one assists person who has disabilities to assess their strengths as well as weaknesses with the intention of helping them in selecting the careers or jobs that expands their potentials to become active contributors to the workforce.

The people who themselves have disabilities have the best knowledge and insight to find the right career as they have crossed the path themselves and no one better than them can be able to counsel others with such disabilities.

10. Salesperson:

The role of the salesperson is of someone trying to sell a product or service through his communicating skills.

He has to convince a potential customer about how a product or service would meet their perceived needs.

There is need of salesperson virtually anywhere and is a best job option for a person with disabilities.

11. Self employment:

Owning and running a business, serving as consultant for other businesses, being an independent lawyer, online tutors are all few of the examples from the many self employed jobs available.

One carrying out self employment can work from home or personal office space and in some cases in client’s office.

12. Accessibility consulting:

It comprises of consulting the organisations on how they can improve their offices and neighbouring areas and make them more user friendly for the people with various disabilities.

13. Teacher:

Teacher is someone who helps people of different age groups develop intellectually and specialise in new skills.

The people with disability can help others with disability or without, through their experienced proficiency.

They can be involved in online education too. With the required education or if the disability was struck later in one’s life, they can teach about their former profession to others.

14. Writers:

Writers have to communicate via their written words to the readers. One can write on whatever he knows, possibly about disability. Writing articles in magazines, newspapers, web or eBooks or blogs is possible.

One can be self employed by writing books.

Companies or non-profit organisations also hire individuals to convey their messages to the readers through newsletters, brochures, press releases and other promotional stuff for which one must be a very persuasive writer.

by Krishnan.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/238/careers-for-special-people/

Special needs ‘education’ for doctors and all

Thursday, June 13th, 2019
Children from the Nuha Kids Care Centre participating in early intervention activities.
By Rozana Sani - June 12, 2019 @ 12:45pm

LEARNING and developmental disabilities are quite common among children in Malaysia.

They include global developmental delay (GDD), intellectual disability, autism, Down Syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

There are also specific learning disorders like dyscalculia (severe difficulty in making arithmetic calculations), dysgraphia (unable to write coherently) and dyslexia (difficulty in reading or interpreting words, letters and other symbols).

According to the Welfare Department, there were 82,447 children registered with these disorders in 2016, which account for about 71 per cent of the total children with disabilities.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Faculty of Medicine lecturer and family medicine specialist Dr Ezura Madiana Md Monoto said as public awareness on autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities increased, more parents are seeking help when they notice that their children are not developing as well as their peers.

“There are long queues at government hospitals and primary care clinics for consultation on learning and developmental disabilities.

“Private hospitals, learning centres and non-governmental organisations are also providing therapies for special needs children.

“In our (UKM) setting, other than referring patients to our colleagues in the psychiatric and paediatric departments, we also offer rehabilitation services, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy.

“We also work hand-in-hand with NGOs such as SOLS Health to provide assessment and intervention to our patients.

“Obviously, we need more specialists and facilities that are easily accessible to detect, diagnose and provide early intervention for special needs children at an affordable cost,” she said.

To provide exposure to medical students and, at the same time produce more experts, Dr Ezura said students at UKM Medical (UKMMC) will get the opportunity to work with such patients during their clinical years.

“We have the Child Development Centre under the paediatrics department, Child Psychiatry Clinic under the psychiatric department, and Child and Adolescents Clinic under UKMMC’s primary care clinic, where students will work in rotations.

“When they are posted to other teaching hospitals, too, they have the opportunity to see these cases as their prevalence is high in our communities.

“They have ample opportunity to see and discuss such cases with specialists and doctors, in which they gain valuable experience to handle these cases in future,” she said.

Dr Ezura said final-year medical students at UKM undergo their family medicine posting for five weeks, and they will be posted to UKMMC’s primary care clinic in Kuala Lumpur, and Klinik Kesihatan Batu 9 Cheras and Klinik Kesihatan Batu 14 Hulu Langat in Selangor, to allow them to work in the community.

She said they will learn to practice patient-centered consultation and apply the continuity of care concept in managing patients. They will be exposed to personalised healthcare that has cost-effective and quality features.

Being a public university that trains specialists in family medicine, UKM’s Family Medicine Department also runs a Child and Adolescent Clinic.

It is open in UKMMC every Tuesday, and the clinic provides therapy for patients under 18 with learning difficulties, and developmental and behavioural disorders.

Special needs youngsters are referred to the Child and Adolescent Clinic from schools, government clinics and private practitioners.

“With increasing awareness, sometimes parents themselves walk in to consult on their children’s problems. We work hand in hand with UKMMC’s Child Development Clinic and Child Psychiatry Clinic to diagnose and coordinate care for these children and adolescents.

“Students attached here have the opportunity to serve at the clinic under the supervision of lecturers and family medicine specialists.

“With increased prevalence of such disabilities in Malaysia, they will be the frontliners in the community to detect, manage and coordinate care for patients after they graduate.

“We also provide continuous education for medical practitioners who like to learn about this subject,” said Dr Ezura, adding that the clinic also conducts awareness programmes for the public.

Recently, the UKMMC Child and Adolescent Clinic carried out a programme to mark autism and Down Syndrome. It was officiated by Faculty of Medicine assistant dean (learning & CITRA) Professor Datuk Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj.

Dr Harlina said not everybody is capable of going through the challenges of raising children with special needs.

Therefore, society needs to be empathic, accepting and willing to lend full support to these families.

“Hence, that is why we organise this awareness programme today — to educate society on what Down Syndrome and autism are all about, how people with different abilities live their life.

“Typical people like us need to create an inclusive environment for them to thrive and achieve their full potential alongside with us,” she said.

Twenty-three UKM medical graduates and students volunteered to help out in the event.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with children and adolescents with autism and Down Syndrome as it gives us the chance to understand them better and learn how to support them and their family,” said Nur Nazira Safani, 25, who graduated last year and is waiting for her housemanship posting.

Dr Ezura, who headed the organising committee, said it took two weeks to secure funding and put the event together.

“Within a short period, we managed to bring Andi Miranti, a teenager with autism who published his comic Ned Dickens; Amira Daniea, an autistic but talented young artist who has her own line of tudung and art pieces; and Yan Wei Xing, eight, a boy with Down Syndrome who helps his parents plant and sell hydrangea flowers.

“We also engaged SOLS Health to provide psychological assessment for visitors and Nuha Kids Care Centre to do gross motor circuit activities for the children.

“We held an exhibition on what early intervention is all about. Speech language pathologists and dietitians from UKM were also at hand to provide advice and hands-on demonstration to parents,” said Dr Ezura.

“This was a good initiative to show the community what people with autism and Down Syndrome can do if early intervention is initiated to minimise gaps in developmental milestones and social functions,” said Florence Lim Tze Teng, who is the mother of Yan Wei Xing.

“Although there are prevailing negative perception and attitude from the community, we need to help our special needs children to prepare themselves for the future — to be independent and, hopefully, integrate successfully with their peers and the community,” she added.

By Rozana Sani .

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/06/495691/special-needs-education-doctors-and-all

Teaching children with autism a special, exciting challenge

Friday, May 17th, 2019
Norshahila Omar (right) with Nurul Ain Mohd Ilias (centre) and Azlini Mohamed Sidi teaching the children at the Nasom centre in Kuantan. -NSTP/ MUHD ASYRAF SAWAL

KUANTAN: Teacher Norshahila Omar arrives at her workplace at Kubang Buaya here knowing that a fun-filled day awaits her albeit some tense moments with her students which occasionally drives her up the wall.

The 29-year-old joined the Kuantan branch National Autism Society of Malaysia’s (Nasom) in 2009, and just when some assume that teaching a child with autism may seem a daunting task, Norshahila has made great strides in her career.

The mother-of-one said she was startled when she first stepped into the centre as the autism children had various characters, there was communication barrier and it was tough to understand them.

However as time passed, she began to fall in love with the children and her job, and was always looking forward to teaching them as she felt that she could make a difference in their lives.

Norshahila said although she was strict during lessons, she will sometimes pamper and love the children like her own as the students feel more secured and listened attentively when people provided them with more attention.

“When I first joined here, there was one student was refused to listen and one day, when I became angry and raised my voice, the student was shocked and started to listen to me. So I guess that did the trick…you have to act depending on the situation, and study your students closely as it will help to understand their mood and behaviour better.

“Each student has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Some may be excellent in memorising but find it tough to read or spell so we as teachers must be prepared for all situations….we have to be patient, be a good listener and give them space to express themselves,” she said when met at the Nasom centre here yesterday.

Norshahila said there were some autistic students who were unable to speak when they first arrived at the centre but eventually begin to speak and could now form sentences.

“One student arrived to centre when he was four and could not speak a single word…we was only babbling. But at the age of nine he started to talk and even sing songs, and now he can arrange sentences and write on paper. His parents were very excited and happy for him.

“In school, there are students with various characters…one loves to laugh all day long for reasons only known to them, one gets angry when the classroom lights are switched off and one will suddenly break down in tears when his parents decide to take a different road to school. As teachers we must be able to ensure the student does not get carried away with his feelings but try to focus on the lessons and activities in the classroom,” she said.

She said there were different methods handle the children especially the young ones and those in their teenage years.

Norshahila said as teachers they had to be always creative to attract the students attention and the first approach during lessons is important to leave a lasting impression on the students.

She said some of the students aged between 10 and 19-years-old were now involved in baking classes and multi-coloured tie-dye artwork which was something the students looked forward to.

“At times when they refuse to listen, we will promise them a small reward which will make them a little eager. For example, when a student does not want to mix the dough for cookies, we will tell the student that he or her will be allowed to use the computer if they successfully complete the task.

“Usually when they hear the word baking, everyone will know their responsibilities in the kitchen and start doing the necessary including wearing their apron,

arranging the plastic jars and trays, and cleaning the table. Once they enjoy doing a certain task,it is easy for them to learn and understand,” she said.

eanwhile, Nurul Ain Mohd Ilias, 29, who joined to teach at the centre here some three months ago, said earlier she sometimes felt a little down when a student threw a tantrum or refused to listen.

“You have to understand their character to ensure they pay attention during lessons….each student has a different character and sees things from a different perspective.

“When we want the student to study but he or she does not understand, then we should give them some space or something else to work on for example painting. Some children are rough and pinch the teachers but that is part and parcel of the job,” she said.

Nurul Ain, who is a Master of Education (Visual Arts) holder, described teaching the children here as fun as they were adventurous and prepared for new challenges.

“I previously taught in Kuala Lumpur which was attended by both normal and autistic students. The challenges here are different but I am enjoying it and the best moments are when you see the children under your care making progress either in education or living skills.

“You cannot be too strict with them. Put yourself in their shoes to understand them better….some might make slow progress but its our role to bring out the best in them. I always believe that teaching the child will help create happiness for the children’s family (when the child shows progress),” she said.

By TN Alagesh.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/05/489355/teaching-children-autism-special-exciting-challenge

Many places are still not disabled-friendly

Friday, May 10th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: While the city has made improvements to cater to the needs of people with disability, there is still room for upgrading, said Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) Rehabilitation Medicine Department Head Dr Syahiskandar Sybil Shah.

During the recent spinal cord injury (SCI) support group event, he said, the participants had brought up issues of lack of disabled people and wheelchair-friendly recreational places, including at shopping malls and mosques.

“Other issues regarding accessibilities are designated disabled people park lots which are not wide enough especially if the driver and passengers are all wheelchair bound,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“And some places despite having rams for wheelchair users are simply too steep making it impossible to access.”

However, the participants also expressed their gratitude that lately there are more park lots in the city that are disabled people-friendly.

This shows that the local authorities are listening to their plights and that improvements have been made, he said.

Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman who also attended the event, assured them that the community and city truly supports them but that it will take time for the city to be fully accessible to the disabled community.

On the event, Syahiskandar said the event was co-organised by QEH Rehabilitation Medicine Department together with Jesselton Medical Centre (JMC) and Sabah Rehabilitation Medicine Club (KPRS).

The event was part of the community rehabilitation programme, which is to get the patients to meet other SCI patients as well as to motivate and be motivated by their peers with similar situation.

Some 13 patients with their families participated in the event of which three were incomplete tetraplegia and the rest a mixture of complete and incomplete paraplegia patients.

“Of the number, three are still receiving active spine rehabilitation in QEH’s rehabilitation ward.

“The programme also aims to raise awareness among the participants as well as the public of the many issues faced by SCI patients,” he said.

Syahiskandar said that very little is published on the demographics or epidemiological patterns of SCI in Malaysia.

However, a recent estimate showed that annual incidence of SCI is approximately 54 cases per one million people in the United States or about 17,700 new SCI cases each year.

“The leading cause of SCI would be motor vehicle accident, fall from height and industrial accidents.

“Other non-traumatic causes would be tumour, infection, autoimmune and others.

“SCI is damaged to the spinal cord that cause temporary or permanent changes in its function.

“Complications of SCI are loss of muscle function causing limbs weakness, inability to control bowel and bladder function, neuropathic pain, sensory loss, pressure ulcers, sexual dysfunction, autonomic dysreflexia and others.

“Patient also suffer from emotional toil due to SCI increasing the risk of depression, suicide and body image problem.”

To this end, he said, it is important for patients with SCI to receive social and emotional support so that they would learn to accept their disabilities and thus rise above them to attain independence and a fulfilling life.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/135038/many-places-are-still-not-disabled-friendly/


Love and support those with mental illness

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
We need to break the stigma of mental illness. — SITI FARAH
By SITI FARAH - May 8, 2019 @ 12:15am

HAVING mental illness does not indicate mental weakness. Mental illness is a disorder, often a flaw of biology. When will we break this stigma? There is much awareness on this issue, but some people are still narrow-minded.

“She’s not sick at all. Just an attention seeker. That’s what she is.” I was labelled an attention seeker when I expressed myself.

In reality, many who claim to care about other people will criticise you when you have a mental disorder. We get it that you do not understand what it is like to go through multiple breakdowns, suicidal feelings and attempts, and have a high sense of self-loathing, but never criticise an individual who is trying to remain strong for so long.

This also applies to those who are physically ill. You would not criticise a physically ill person just because he or she expressed their pain.

School was hard. Socialising was even harder. I was pretty much alone and I was bullied because I didn’t speak up.

These are but a few events that contributed to my sense of self-loathing. I kept it to myself when I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It hit me hard knowing I was ill. Back then, mental disorder wasn’t something to discuss about.

Surprisingly, the most cheerful ones are those with such disorders like the late actor Robin Williams.

Parents and friends should be aware because we will never know our closest ones are suffering in silence. They may not open up to us but it is our responsibility to acknowledge them or at least offer a hand. We appreciate the effort.

We need to break the stigma of mental illness.

You should acknowledge your friends with mental illness and reassure them that you are there to help them with whatever they are going through.

Equip yourself to handle special needs students, Teo tells teachers.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
Teo (left) says the early intervention module is aimed at parents, childcare providers and kindergartens.

Teo (left) says the early intervention module is aimed at parents, childcare providers and kindergartens.

All government school teachers should acquire knowledge on dealing with special needs children, said Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said this would help sustain the ministry’s “Zero Reject Policy”, which was implemented at the beginning of the year. The policy ensures that all children in the country, including those with special needs and undocumented children, will have access to education.

“The ministry anticipates that more special needs children will enrol in government schools after the launch of the “Zero Reject Policy”.

“To ensure the policy’s success, we must make sure teachers – especially teachers in mainstream classes – have the knowledge to handle special needs children,” she told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, after launching GENIUS@Kurnia’s Karnival Semarak Autisme (KSA) last Saturday.

KSA was held to boost awareness of autism, as well as to cultivate empathy, love, and care among the public towards autistic individuals and their families who put in tremendous effort to care for these special children.

In conjunction with KSA and Autism Awareness Month, GENIUS@Kurnia also launched the iKurnia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and an early intervention module – both designed by special education experts from the ministry.

Teo said the purpose of iKurnia MOOC was to prepare and assist teachers in getting the necessary knowledge about special needs children from a reliable platform.

“It is an online platform that provides useful information and exercises related to autism for educators to refer to.

“The early intervention module is aimed at parents, childcare providers, and kindergartens. It can help them identify differences or pick up on anything unusual among children under their care. This module is not meant for primary school teachers,” said Teo, who donned a white bunny ears headband to show her support for KSA.

By Lee Chonghui
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/05/05/equip-yourself-to-handle-special-needs-students-teo-tells-teachers/#ha6zIMiQzmktKKCe.99

Dr Maszlee: Over 10,000 special needs children enrolled in schools under Zero Reject policy.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 10,948 special needs students have enrolled in schools since the Education Ministry launched the “Zero Reject Policy” in January.

The “Zero Reject Policy” ensures that all children in the country, including those with special needs and undocumented children, will have access to education.

Besides boosting enrolments of special needs students, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) said the ministry also enabled 2,635 undocumented children (to date) to gain access to education in mainstream schools.

“We also managed to get 262 secondary school dropouts to enroll back into school through our Program Perintis Sifar Murid Cicir (PSMC).

“This shows our commitment to children. They have a right to education, whoever they are and wherever they come from,” he said, adding that no child will be left behind under Pakatan Harapan’s governance.

Dr Maszlee also said that the ministry is also in the midst of fixing dilapidated schools.

“There were 394 projects in 2018, where 301 were issued Certificates of Practical Completion (CPC) and 93 more are in various stages of completion. Another 107 are in progress (of getting fixed) and would likely be completed at the end of this year,” he said.

He added that schools in opposition-led states such as Sarawak would not be sidelined.

Dr Maszlee was speaking during the ministry’s monthly gathering here on Tuesday (May 7) where he elaborated on the ministry’s nine core successes achieved over the past year.

He credited all the achievements made so far to civil servants working with the ministry.

“I love you 3,000! Thank you for not giving up and for continuously doing your best for the country,” he said.

Other than the three core successes mentioned, the remaining six include helping B40 students, teachers’ welfare, boosting credibility of higher-learning institutions, cultivating higher cooperation in higher-learning institutions, focusing on technical and vocational skills (TVET) education, and improving literacy of language, culture, and literature.

Dr Maszlee said he was especially focused on teachers’ welfare.

Describing teachers as the “main agents of change” of the country, he said the ministry has come up with five initiatives and nine interventions to lighten teachers’ workload, since the beginning of 2019.

He hoped that with the initiatives in place, teachers would be able to return to their core job, which is to teach and not be bogged down by unnecessary work.

“In addition to these five initiatives, the ministry has also identified several long-term initiatives involving more complex issues that require a review of existing policies and regulations, improvements in infrastructure and optimising job and human resources at schools,” he said.

By Lee Chonghui
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/05/07/over-10000-special-needs-children-enrolled-in-schools-under-zero-reject-policy/#PjtVb4JUswZlw3w0.99

More teachers to be trained for special-needs children.

Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Teo Nie Ching greeting special needs children at SJKC Bintawa in Kuching.. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR

Teo Nie Ching greeting special needs children at SJKC Bintawa in Kuching.. – ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR

KUCHING: Only 14% of special-needs children are estimated to be registered in special education programmes in government schools, says Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

Calling the percentage low, she said the ministry was taking steps to train more teachers in special education and to raise awareness among parents in order to increase the number of special-needs children in school.

“It’s very important for us to encourage more parents to send their children to school so that we can ensure that they also have the chance to receive education.

“I think publicity and awareness are very important.

Teo said the ministry was working with Permata to design online courses for mainstream teachers to equip them to handle special-needs children in their classrooms.

“We will train more teachers in special education. We want to take in more special-needs children, so we need to make sure our facilities and teachers are available and capable to take care of this group,” she said, adding that the online courses would be launched soon.

In addition, she said the ministry would continue to promote its zero-reject policy for special-needs children as it wanted as many of them as possible to go to school.

As at Jan 31, 83,039 special-needs children are registered in government schools nationwide.

In Sarawak, there are 5,804 registered special-needs children as at Jan 31, up from 5,766 last year. Of this total, 147 are registered in Sekolah Pendidikan Khas, while 4,432 are in the PPKI programme and 590 in the inclusive education programme (PPI), in which special needs children attend mainstream classrooms.

Teo said the ministry wanted to see progress and improvement among special-needs students as they attend PPKI and PPI classes.

“When they progress further (in the PPKI programme), we will put them in the inclusive programme.

“We believe that by putting them in the mainstream classroom, it’s not only advantageous to the special-needs children because it can build up their confidence, but at the same time it’s good for the normal kids to appreciate and learn to assist those with different abilities.

By Sharon Ling
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/04/more-teachers-to-be-trained-for-special-needs-children/#cLyMx8U43Xd6sbJD.99