Archive for the ‘Persons with special needs’ Category

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.

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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
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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
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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
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Plans for special needs students

Sunday, January 6th, 2019
Teachers are exposed to early childhood education and are taught how to conduct intervention for children with disabilities, while in IPG. — File photo

Teachers are exposed to early childhood education and are taught how to conduct intervention for children with disabilities, while in IPG. — File photo

SCHOOLS must accept all special needs students and prepare an individual education plan for every child under the Education Ministry’s “zero reject” policy, which has been made compulsory starting this year.

The ‘zero reject’ policy is to ensure that all special needs students have access to education, the ministry said in a circular issued on Dec 26, 2018, while Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik previously said that it is also an effort to prevent dropouts among students with disabilities.

While the ministry is working towards a more inclusive environment for special needs students, what are the types of training given to its teachers to identify cases of developmental delay, at a preliminary stage, and refer them to medical practitioners?

Education Ministry Special Education Division deputy director Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain explained that teachers are trained on how to screen and identify in terms of the child’s learning abilities, behaviour and emotion, among others.

Types of developmental delay include cognitive delays, motor delays, speech delays and social, emotional and behavioural delays.

“In institutes of teacher education (IPG), they are exposed to early childhood education in the curriculum; they are also taught how to conduct intervention for children with disabilities.

Schools provide special services to specially abled students, such as materials with enlarged prints and more time during exams to answer. — File photo

“It’s a three credit subject, 45 hours per semester,” she shared.

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin suggested, during a parliament session last year, to train preschool teachers to screen special needs children and refer them to experts for subsequent diagnosis and intervention.

In response, Dr Maszlee said the ministry has been training teachers, including preschool teachers, through a programme called Continuous Professionalism Enhancement Programme for Teachers.

Explaining further on a Facebook post, Dr Maszlee said he has instructed the ministry’s special education division to hold open courses for preschool teachers outside the ministry’s administration.

“We have also worked with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, and the Health Ministry to set up a Baby and Child Development Checklist to conduct screening for children,” he added.

There are multiple tools the ministry has, Dr Yasmin shared, which teachers use to screen pupils and students.

To keep up with new developments, the ministry reviews these tools regularly.

“Teachers are trained how to screen and identify in terms of the child’s learning abilities, behaviour and emotion.” – Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain

“The Instrumen Senarai Semak Perkembangan Kanak-Kanak, for example, is an instrument used by preschool teachers to screen children aged up to six years-old, to check on the child’s development.

“They will then refer the results to medical practitioners or doctors (if they have detected a sign of developmental delay).

“Other instruments that we have are ‘Instrumen Pengesanan Murid Masalah Dalam Pembelajaran’ and ‘Instrumen Senarai Semak Disleksia’; the latter screens children with dyslexia.”

The ministry also has a centre called Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas (special education service centres).

There are 13 throughout the country with 28 medical practitioners, five of which are psychologists, said Dr Yasmin.

“Either parents refer their children to the practitioners in our centres, or they will go to schools to identify pupils and students (with possible forms of developmental delay).

“They are also often invited by schools to give talks and training,” she added.

In 2017, the ministry trained 210 teachers, she said, while last year, 52 were trained.

The training sessions are conducted around four times a year, between two to three days.

“Teachers have said that it isn’t enough.

“We try to have as many as we can in a year but we can’t take them away from school for too many days; other teachers will have to replace their classes and (this is tough), especially for special education teachers,” she said, adding that only about 30 teachers can be trained in each session.

However, plans to train more teachers this year are on the cards, she said, involving about 200 preschool teachers.

Dr Yasmin said the ministry has discussed with the Health Ministry, as well as the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Permata Kurnia, an NGO which provides education for autistic children, on how to best utilise the tools they currently have.

Increasing awareness among parents

While tools and training for teachers to identify, screen and teach students with learning disabilities and developmental delay are provided, parents play an equally important role in accepting their child’s condition.

To push for this, Dr Yasmin’s division conducted a town hall last year where teachers and communities were present.

This year, she said plans to conduct a convention on special education with NGOs are in the pipeline.

Commenting on scenarios where parents deny their children’s condition, Dr Yasmin said some request special services for their child in schools but will not register to receive the Disabled People’s (OKU) card for the child.

“Some do not want their kids to be classified as OKU, although, off late, more parents have been accepting reality.

Often, parents of specially abled children want their kids to be in mainstream classes in schools.

It is up to the teachers themselves to further improve on the basics they have been taught so as to cater to the Zero Reject Policy.” – Harry Tan

When this happens, Dr Yasmin said schools will not be able to provide special services that special needs students normally receive.

“In terms of providing material with enlarged prints and giving them more time during exams to answer.

“Problems also arise for mainstream classroom teachers – unless this special needs student has been in our integrated programmes where we teach them how to manage their behaviour and learning methods, and they then show us that they are able to (integrate) with their mainstream classroom peers, then it would be easier for teachers to manage,” she shared.

Last year, Dr Yasmin said the ministry trained around 220 teachers in the integrated programmes.

Previously, training were more general so this year, Dr Yasmin said they plan to have it in more focused and specific areas such as autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Often, she said, parents have voiced their concerns over wanting teaching and learning to be more specific.

“We have spoken to different NGOs including Dyslexia Association of Malaysia and Malaysia Federation of the Deaf to be part of the training because they (are the experts).”

Going the distance

Although the curriculum in IPGs are credible and comprehensive, Dr Yasmin said teachers “must learn more on their own initiative after graduating”.

“They must not think what they have learnt in college is enough, as there are new developments within the area every year.”

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan agreed, saying as professionals, teachers must consistently undergo continuous professional development.

“This is paramount for us to teach using the latest methods and understand the developing needs of our students.

“Teachers must be able to detect cases using a multi sensory screening material. ” – Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj

“As there are various kinds of special needs, it is up to the teachers themselves to further improve on the basics they have been taught so as to cater to the Zero Reject Policy,” he said.

Tan said teachers also need to have counselling skills, in assisting parents of special needs children.

Special education teacher Dr Muhamad Khairul Anuar Hus­sin said relying on the basics one learnt in college isn’t enough as under learning disabilities alone, there are more than six categories.

The SMK Taman Uni­ver­siti 2, Johor Baru teacher often attends international conferences, reads up on latest research in the area and learns from his specialist friends.

Malaysia Mental Health Asso­ciation president Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said teachers must be able to detect cases using multi sensory screening material.

“Don’t just focus on behaviour or academic performance.

“In our current culture of being focused on the completion of the curriculum, it leaves little room for personalised and meaningful student-teacher relationships and therefore makes detection and subsequent referral of cases rather challenging and often overlooked.

“Teachers being given adequate training will help in early detection and result in better outcomes for any intervention,” he explained.

While several training modules are used internationally for preschool teachers to detect developmental delay and psychological issues in children, Dr Andrew said the Montessori Multi Sensory Screening System has been a more successful model.

“It’s a teaching system that focuses on all the sensory modalities but in the process, picks up developmental delays and other underlying psychological and psychiatric issues.

“It cannot however be used as a diagnostic tool and only as a screening tool to pick up doubtful cases for referral,” he shared.

By Sandhya Menon
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For the love of children

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

HIS love for children is clearly evident as tears well up in Dr Maszlee Malik’s eyes when he talks about creating a better education environment for Malaysia’s children, especially those with special needs.

The current Education Minister shares that this desire to help special needs children stemmed from the days he was on a sojourn in the United Kingdom.

He reveals it started in December 2010, when one of his daughters pointed out how a TV show presenter “is going to heaven” because he was helping and entertaining children with disabilities prepare for Christmas.

He adds that his daughter said the presenter “was doing things nobody else was doing. He’s helping children with disabilities and we’re not doing it.”

“I felt very touched. So, I’m trying my best as Education Minister to do something for those children,” he says, as he dabs his eyes with a handkerchief.

“I will try to do something.”

Dr Maszlee also revealed that there is an RM146mil allocation in Budget 2019 for special needs education.

An amount, he adds, that is better than the previous years.

Dr Maszlee (third from left) chats with pupils after presenting them with new school uniforms, shoes and bags for the new school year. McDonald’s Malaysia managing director and local operating partner Azmir Jaafar (left, back row) looks on.

Dr Maszlee (third from left) chats with pupils after presenting them with new school uniforms, shoes and bags for the new school year. McDonald’s Malaysia managing director and local operating partner Azmir Jaafar (left, back row) looks on.

He says the allocation will be used to improve the facilities, the teaching and learning process, and to improve the quality of teaching for special needs students in schools.

Dr Maszlee says that it broke his heart when he visited schools and found out that some students did not have breakfast at home, and have to wait until recess time to eat their first meal of the day.

“I must make sure that all children have something in their stomachs when they go to school.”

He adds that this is why he has suggested a programme to provide a nutritious breakfast to children from the B40 group.

B40 refers to the bottom 40% of households with a monthly income of RM3,900 and below.

This, he adds, is better than the ongoing supplementary food programme that was introduced by the ministry in 1979.

The new programme will provide breakfast to the students at the beginning of the school day, and not halfway through.

“I will try to negotiate with the Finance Minister for a supplementary budget,” he explains.

Although he does not get to spend much time with his family, Dr Maszlee says breakfast with them is a must.

“I miss sending my children to school as I used to do so previously,” says the father of three daughters and a son aged between nine and 19.

“I do get free time but it’s not as much as what I enjoyed previously. But it’s worth it when you’re giving much of your
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E-learning for the visually impaired

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
(Left) Reverend Datuk Dr Charles Samuel with Dr Koh (second right) and Dr Zoraini (right) watching S. Gomathi on the e-learning system.

(Left) Reverend Datuk Dr Charles Samuel with Dr Koh (second right) and Dr Zoraini (right) watching S. Gomathi on the e-learning system.

TO make education more accessible and equitable for the blind and visually-impaired (BVI) students, Wawasan Open University (WOU) and St Nicholas Home for the Blind have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to make web accessible e-learning educational resources available to BVIs.

WOU acting vice-chancellor Prof Dr Zoraini Wati Abas said that WOU was committed to provide knowledge transfer services to St Nicholas Home through technical support on server-related issues and consultations on Learning Management System (LMS) related issues.

She said this would enable teachers of the home to share their learning resources with the visually-impaired students to enhance their knowledge and skills in attaining higheracademic qualifications throughout Malaysia.

“With the LMS, learners can have discussion with their peers, tutors and course coordinators.

St Nicholas Home’s executive director Daniel Soon said there were several challenges faced when setting up the system two years ago.

He said that the home had a hard time getting materials such as large print or Braille as they were not available or accessibleto the blind and visually-impaired people.

“We also faced difficulty in translating the resources from text to Braille as the process of scanning the books was tedious and efforts to translate required help from trained members,” he said. He also pointed that the constant change of materials by the Education Ministry had made it hard for them to source for informations.

By Liew Jia Xian
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Nurturing true grit in children

Sunday, October 21st, 2018
Kumon instructor Nor Aishah said children who face challenges daily will discover solutions themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement.

Kumon instructor Nor Aishah said children who face challenges daily will discover solutions themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement.

WHEN it comes to assessing a child’s success in school, many recent experiments and tests conducted by child psychologists suggested that rather than brain power, the solution lies in the child’s character.

These results reveal that non-cognitive skills like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, self-confidence and grit are the reason for the child’s success at school and in life later on.

Grit itself refers to the passion and perseverance for long-term goals despite setbacks.

Kumon instructor Nor Aishah Osman said that when it comes to grit, a student cannot become an advanced learner without strengthening his learning skills.

At Kumon, experience is crucial to moulding a child’s character and it usually starts off simple enough by solving easy solutions, before progressing to problems at the student’s right level, which implies the process being individualised.

Once the student surpasses his own level, there is no stopping, as he can continue to challenge himself in higher levels than his own in school.

Kumon worksheets are planned in such a way that they are a step-by-step guide, with new twists and elements added so students are exposed to different components of the solutions to a complicated problem.

Nor Aishah said that this form of self-learning requires patience. “Some children get frustrated when trying to solve the problems,” she added.

But when they persist and face these challenges daily, they will eventually discover the solution themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement. “This gives them motivation, self-confidence,” explained Nor Aishah.

Working with parents, Kumon instructors help shape the attitudes and confidence early so that student are self-reliant by the time they enter college.

R&D development manager Rupeshsingh is happy with his daughter Dhaani’s progress at Kumon.

When Rupeshsingh K. Bess enrolled his five-year-old daughter Dhaani in Kumon, his expectations were that she should inculcate good learning habits and develop better concentration — both traits that after just 18 months have become intrinsic to her.

Daani has already developed endurance, and she relishes spending 15-30 minutes each day dedicated to working on her mathematics and English worksheets.

“She is committed and she looks forward to working on even more homework,” said Rupeshsingh, research and development manager.

“She has developed the tenacity to want to achieve more,” he concluded.

Final level Kumon student Aleem (left) with his father Amirullah Harun, is a straight-A student at school.

For straight-A student 15-year-old Aleem, being at Kumon made a big difference when he progressed towards secondary school. His father, quantity surveyor Amirullah Harun, enrolled him at the age of five-plus.

“By then, there was already a big gap between me and my classmates, for when I was in Form 1, I was already working on trigonometry while my classmates were still figuring out algebra.

“My mindset about fear has already been changed thanks to Kumon,” Aleem added.

Kumon’s main objective is for primary school children to be able to tackle secondary school materials by strengthening their foundation before proceeding to higher level work.

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Protect rights of the differently – abled

Sunday, October 7th, 2018
Visually-impaired students sitting their Form Three Assessment. A standard operating procedure will help us to deal with persons with disability effectively. FILE PIC

ISLAM enjoins Muslims to always respect others, regardless of their abilities, skin colour, etc.

We are urged not to hurt their emotions and feelings as this would lead to disharmony.

Allah says in the Quran, Verse 2 of Surah al-Maidah: “… help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and rancour”.

Islam, as a way of life, is prolific in its teachings and legacy, as well as heritage, when it comes to the treatment and management of people.

People with disabilities are individuals who have a broad range of impairments along with specific issues and needs that
correspond to the type of disabilities they have.

They are a part of society and deserve all the facilities, rights and respect the others receive.

Disabilities come in different forms.

Some individuals may have physical impairments and limitations that restrict their ability and strength.

Others may have disabilities that are not obvious to us. As such, we cannot use the same yardstick to deal with them.

People with disabilities may look normal outwardly, but the fact is that they are special and require special treatment with a specific approach.

Why do we need this special approach in the first place? Because there is none that can help us to deal with people who are differently-abled.

Such an approach or standard operating procedure (SOP) would guide us to respond to them with the dignity they deserve as human beings.

Furthermore, such an SOP protects us from inappropriate behaviours towards them.

The SOP also protects people with disabilities as it upholds their sense of dignity, respect and rights as humans.

By Khairul Azhar Idris .

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