Tuesday, November 24, 2009

EASY TARGETS: Disabled must be protected

DR A. SOORIAN, Seremban

IT was shocking to read reports that criminals have no qualms about targeting the disabled and the elderly. We are told that even charity-based centres are not spared.

Also, the blind are not let alone. They are molested, whether on the streets or in the passageways of their abode. When they lodge police reports, they are not taken seriously. Braille is not available to them when it comes to filling forms.

The deaf are also disadvantaged as police officers are not trained in sign language.

Incidents of the disabled being targeted by criminals never emerged on our mainstream radar before but now seem to be commonplace. The saddest part of it all is that these handicapped victims are overly vulnerable to attack and abuse by criminals at large. And they suffer in silence.

Generally, our country is prosperous and its people compassionate. It is high time a national long-term care scheme (including insurance) for the seriously disabled was launched.

We sometimes groan and moan over minor inconveniences we face, but surely these pale into insignificance when compared with the life sentence of agony and victimisation of these disabled and elderly folk.

Most handicapped victims of crime suffer in silence as they often fail to be taken seriously by the police.    KUALA LUMPUR. 08.03.08. General Election 2008 SPR helper guide blind voters Lim Chee Wah 48yrs  and Oui Kee Heyoh 52yrs to the polling centre at SK methodist  Brickfields  P-120 Bukit Bintang . pic by S.Sugumaran
Most handicapped victims of crime suffer in silence as they often fail to be taken seriously by the police. KUALA LUMPUR. 08.03.08. General Election 2008 SPR helper guide blind voters Lim Chee Wah 48yrs and Oui Kee Heyoh 52yrs to the polling centre at SK methodist Brickfields P-120 Bukit Bintang . pic by S.Sugumaran

Sources: NST Online

Move to employ more disabled people in Johor

JOHOR BARU: The state government, with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has set-up a People with Disabilities Employment Unit to encourage more employers to hire people with disabilities.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the unit would provide employers with a data bank of people with disabilities whom they could hire.

It will also act as a support system where those selected will be given training that is suitable for the job.

"The setting up of this unit is one of Johor's efforts to increase the number of people with disabilities in the workforce," he said after opening a national conference on employment and disability here yesterday.

Also present were Social Welfare Department director-general Datuk Meme Zainal Rashid and UNDP assistant resident representative James George Chacko.

Ghani said the setting up of the unit was due to the success of an employment model jointly developed by UNDP and the State Economic Planning Unit. He said the state's immediate target was to fulfil the one per cent quota of employment for people with disabilities in government agencies.

"From there, we hope to expand it to the private sector," he added.

Ghani said for too long, people with disabilities had been discouraged by discriminatory barriers and mistaken assumptions about their capacity to work, causing most of them to withdraw from an active search for jobs and rely on either disability benefits or eke out a livelihood in low value-added work in the informal economy with support from their family.

"With the setting up of this unit, support will be made available to job-seekers with disabilities," he added.

The special unit can be reached at 07-2266618.

Meme said the move by Johor in setting up the unit was a major first step since Malaysia become a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in April last year.

"People with disabilities in this country should no longer be treated as passive recipients of assistance or as a burden to society, but rather as active contributors to society to achieve the goals of development for all," she said.

Meme hoped other states would also follow suit and set up similar units to assist people with disabilities.

Sources: NST Online

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Municipal council to provide facilities for disabled in SS15

I AM disabled and have just moved to Subang Jaya from Klang. I am living in SS15. I enjoy living in this area as it has facilities that I need such as banks and restaurants.

Most of the time, I venture out on my own using my wheelchair.

Sometimes, I face difficulties going to certain parts of SS15 because of the curbs, uneven roads and other obstructions.

Is the council planning to make SS15 disabled-friendly to cater to people like me?

Senior citizens will also benefit from the disabled-friendly facilities.

Lim Khiew Wheng

DATUK ADNAN: The commercial area of SS15 was the first phase of development in Subang Jaya that was carried out by Sime UEP at the end of the 1970s.

It is undeniable that in the development plans put forward before 2000, there was no emphasis on the needs and facilities for the disabled.

However, after 2000, the Selangor Town and Country Planning Department, through the Local Agenda 21 programme, stated that the needs and facilities of the disabled must be taken into consideration.

This is stipulated in the development guidelines prepared by the Peninsular Malaysia Town and Country Planning Department.

In the guidelines, the facilities that have to be provided for the disabled include car parks, ramps for wheelchairs in commercial buildings, recreational parks, offices and high-rise residential buildings, as well as disabled-friendly toilets and lifts.

These facilities are stated in the development consent which developers have to adhere to.

In the case of older developed areas such as SS15, the council has identified disabled-friendly facilities that can be provided or upgraded.

These include disabled-friendly facilities at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and walkways from carparks to business premises.

At the moment, we are working with public transport concessionaires, such as Rapid KL and Metro, to build disabled-friendly facilities at existing bus stops to make it easier for the disabled to board buses.

The council is deeply concerned with facilities for the disabled. In 2007, we won the Building and Facilities For The Disabled Award in the government buildings category.

Source: Street, NST Online